Year-round programs 2021-22

Let’s play! Our highly popular after-school big band programs are available again for fall 2021. If you aren’t in the San Francisco Bay Area, or if your schedule doesn’t let you participate in one of our in-person programs, you can enroll in one of our online after-school programs.

Click on the tiles at right for details such as auditions, schedules, and pricing.

Directed by Mike Galisatus, the Miles Ahead Big Band is one of the premier regional all-star big bands for high school musicians. This award-winning ensemble brings together some of the top young musicians from all over the San Francisco Bay Area to play some of the best big band repertoire, and to experience the excitement of an ensemble playing at the highest levels.

The Giant Steps Big Band program offers regional big band classes and performances in different locations on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. Open by audition to talented middle school students, the bands are led by noted jazz educators with tons of success teaching at the middle school level. Support faculty address the curricular needs of individual instruments via weekly master classes, and additional instruction and practice is provided via online practice tools.

Miles Ahead Online and Giant Steps Online provide two weekly sessions with some of the top jazz educators in the country. Open to all instruments, these fun and intensive classes help students improve their instrumental technique, as well as to introduce them to jazz improvisation, styles, repertoire, and history.

Miles Ahead Institute is a weekly online class designed for advanced high school musicians. The focus is on topics essential to developing young jazz artists, such as repertoire, advanced improvisation, composition, and performance.

We look forward to seeing you this fall in one of our exciting programs!

In their own words

SJW an excellent atmosphere where the kids could interact with the professionals.

We were the very fortunate recipients of generous financial aid, without which our son could not have attended. This was the first time he went to a music camp, and we are all so happy he did. Thank you!

Best experience imaginable. It far exceeded our expectations. Our daughter can’t wait for next year.

Thank you for offering this program, and helping my daughter grow in her confidence and her music abilities.

First thing he said when he got home was he wants to go back next summer and he wish he could go for two weeks next year.

SJW is an amazing and one-of-a-kind program.

SJW has inspired our girls to pursue their music through jazz bands, orchestra, pep bands, chamber groups, and musical theater. Thank you so much.

After the second day of camp, my daughter said ‘It’s getting easier.’ She described how jazz is different from classical music and how much she enjoys playing jazz with a group. And, of course, the concert on the final day was amazing!

My daughter said all the teachers are amazing, super supportive of students learning jazz for the first time.

She said it was awesome that the teachers appreciated how courageous the students were to try jazz for the first time.

The entire experience was wonderful! She had a great time learning music and making new friends. Thank you!

I wish it was longer than one week. I’d have my son in for the whole summer if possible!

Every time my son finished his rehearsal, he would tell me all about it with excitement.

I was impressed with everything from the communication, the level of professionalism, the enthusiasm, the ratio of coaches to students, the quality of the instruction, and that the students had fun and grew as musicians.

My daughter said she would never forget the performance. (Nor will I.)

I also loved the performance — the kids sounded terrific and they all looked intensely excited to be part of it.

At the end of each class, he was always upbeat and excited about all that he learned. And he said that the teachers were so nice and supportive, and that everyone just wanted to him to succeed.

The staff made all that hard work exciting and fun for the kids. I saw the last ten minutes of a couple of sessions and loved the energy, passion, and enthusiasm.

The staff had high standards for the kids, but did not make it grim. It was obvious that everyone was having fun. And, they sounded amazing!

Giant Steps had a profound impact on my daughter. It changed the way she saw herself.

She went in as a trumpet player in her middle school band and came out thinking of herself as a nascent jazz musician. Her playing and musicianship improved tremendously. Her love of playing jazz trumpet also grew.

Those 10 weeks stretched him as a musician and gave him a huge boost in confidence. He is now a freshman at Menlo-Atherton High, and he and a bunch of his friends in Intermediate Jazz Band have set up their own quintet and are working together on music selection, arrangement, rehearsals etc.

It surpassed our expectations in all respects. Thank you!

Giant Steps was a life-changing experience for my daughter. It empowered her and showed her what was possible if she challenged herself and continued to play jazz trumpet.

My favorite thing? Direct one-on-one teaching, exactly where I need to be taught and challenged in my artistic endeavors.

It’s an amazing opportunity to study from the greats, in a place where inspiration and electricity abound.

The total-immersion program of playing, listening, and learning has inspired me to continue making my own music until I can return to SJW next year.

I had no idea about the level of inspiration I would get, or the number of things it is now clear I need to work on.

This week has been an incredible learning opportunity for me as a student, and I can’t wait to apply all that I’ve learned here in my outside musical career. The level of skill and growth I attained this week is priceless. I love the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

My highlight was seeing my shy daughter perform her first public jazz solo and do an amazing job.

While here, my knowledge of theory, technique and musicianship improved immensely. I never thought I could learn what I did or do what I have achieved.

What makes the SJW community so special is that it creates an environment in which artists can readily share music and educational ideas with each other, with students, and with concert audiences. This interaction between people of different generations and backgrounds is so much of what jazz has always been about.

I wish the SJW Jazz Camp was longer than one week. I’d have my son in for the whole summer if possible!

All week I was able to interact with some of my greatest musical heroes and learn from their expertise. The master classes with Jason Moran, Joshua Redman, Mark Turner and Jeff Ballard changed the way I think about the music.

Simply put, Stanford Jazz Workshop changed my life that first summer.

When we picked our son up, he said ‘I was among giants’ and was very excited by the professional level of the musicians he met during the week.

You’ve got 200 eager kids there, and you’ve got your friends there who are also musicians. Every single year the Stanford Jazz Festival date is my favorite gig.