SJW was treated to a day of fantastic performances at the 36th annual Campana Jazz Festival in Pleasanton earlier this month. Dozens of middle school and high school jazz bands, combos, and choirs came from northern California to compete on the accommodating campus of Amador Valley High School, and to take advantage of the educational clinics given by such notable jazz educators and artists as SJW faculty members Erik Jekabson and Frank Sumares.
The adjudicators were on the hunt for deserving talent on behalf of SJW, and to this end, two budding musicians were each awarded partial scholarships to the 2011 Stanford Jazz Workshop.
Playing lead alto saxophone for Harvest Park Middle School, Brandon Zhang wowed the audience and adjudicators with his fantastic solo ballad work. His warm tone, musical vibrato, and mature phrasing are hints of what we have to look forward to when Brandon arrives at Jazz Camp this summer! Harvest Park Middle School band director Paul Perazzo has a great-sounding band filled with passionately swinging young jazzers-to-be.
The jazz juggernaut from Folsom High School rolled into Campana, and rolled out with first-place honors in the “AA” band, combo, and jazz choir categories. In that first-place choir of singers all of whom exhibit exceptional intonation, phrasing, rhythm, and musicality, Tanner Robinson distinguished himself with a splendid performance and captured a partial tuition scholarship to this summer’s Stanford Jazz Workshop. Director Curtis Gaesser has trained a veritable army of excellent jazz musicians at Folsom High; you can find out more about the Folsom Music Program here.
Congratulations to all the winning ensembles, and thanks for all the great jazz!
It wasn’t enough for Michael Wang to blow away the Folsom Jazz Festival adjudicators with his astonishing trombone work on a blazing arrangement of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” while performing with the Rio Americano HIgh School Jazz Ensemble 1. He also took a chorus soloing on soprano recorder!
Though Michael wasn’t available to accept his scholarship award at the awards ceremony on January 29, his band director, Josh Murray, kindly stepped in to accept on Michael’s behalf, shown here with SJW Marketing Director, Ernie Rideout.
Everyone in the Rio Americano band did a fantastic job at the Folsom Jazz Festival, winning the sweepstakes for the high school band division. Contratulations to all the great musicians at Rio Americano, and we look forward to seeing Michael Wang this summer at the Stanford Jazz Workshop!
Check out all the other great things the Rio Americano music program is doing:
As a result of his excellent performance at the College of San Mateo Jazz Festival on November 19, 2010, bassist Chris Jefferies was awarded a scholarship to the 2011 Jazz Residency by a distinguished panel of jazz artists judges. Chris was holding down the foundation of the rhythm section for the mightily-swinging Tamalpais High School big band, directed by Spiro Tsingaris.
Chris, with his bass and scholarship certificate on the left of the photo, says, “It’s a privilege and an honor to receive such an award. I’ve been to the workshop for the last three years and have learned a great amount, met lots of amazing musicians, and had a ton of fun.”
Chris and Mr. T (as Sprio Tsingaris is affectionately known by his students) were just on their way to play at the Jazz Education Networkconference in New Orleans when they stopped to take this photo.
Congratulations, Chris! We’re looking forward to seeing you at Jazz Residency this year! In the meantime, check out all the other great things the Tam Music program is up to!