Jazz Band is an auditioned group with the emphasis on filling a standard big band instrumentation (5 Saxophones, 4-5 Trombones, 4-5 Trumpets, a maximum of 2 each of: Piano, Bass, Guitar and Drums). We have auditions in December and start rehearsing after Winter Break. All students who are selected for one of the two groups are enrolled in Jazz Ensemble 5th period term 2.
Jazz II – This group is for less experienced jazz musicians and provides a great opportunity to learn how to play in the contemporary big band style as well as gain experience improvising.
Jazz I – This is a more advanced ensemble comprised of more experienced players. There is a much higher demand musically and the literature is much more challenging. This group is for advanced students of jazz who are looking for an opportunity to grow musically.
Both groups travel during the spring to local and regional jazz festivals and get an opportunity to compete with other schools of similar ability. Outside of competitions, either group may also have local performances at community events or school concerts as they become available.
Click the links below to hear reference recordings of some of the songs we’re learning. Make sure you listen to the audio while you watch your part go by, count along with the recording, imagine yourself playing in the band. You might be surprised how helpful this can be in learning a new song!
Hickory and Twine – Jazz I
Truth – Jazz I
I’ll Remember – Bob Florence (played by Boyd Cannon Big Band)
Jazz Education Resources
Check out some of the links below for inspiration or helpful resources to help you learn to improvise!
Improv Pathways YouTube Channel– Simple play along, call and response improve lessons that start easy and get fairly advanced. This is a great resource for anyone that would like to learn how to improvise.
Purchase companion book here
Jazz Everyone – A subscription based website with a whole series of sequential lessons that will take you from absolute beginner to master improviser.