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Returning Home: A Conversation with Donny McCaslin

Though saxophonist Donny McCaslin made his name in the jazz world after moving to New York, he still has fond memories of growing up in the greater Santa Cruz area, where he cultivated his musical foundation. He recalls traveling over the hill to San Jose to participate in summer workshops, of sitting in with the…

Fall Update from Progressions Director Julie Rinard

 This fall, Progressions officially launched its fourth site, an advanced track at Bridges Academy. It includes participants who have been a part of Progressions for three-plus years, bringing together 20 students from Meadows Elementary School, Santee Elementary School, Bridges Academy, CCA (College Connection Academy) and Ace Franklin-McKinley. Instrumentation for the new track includes saxophone and…

SJZ Fall Concert Series Preview: Mariachi Flor de Toloache

San Jose Jazz closes out its first Fall Concert Series with an SJZ Boom Box performance by Mariachi Flor de Toloache as part of La Ultima Parada, a day-long Dia de Los Muertos celebration at Mexican Heritage Plaza. Like Rudresh Mahanthappa and Rez Abbasi, Mariachi Flor de Toloache represents a new musical vision of an…

SJZ Fall Concert Series: Get to Know Rez Abbasi & Junction

Celebrated guitarist Rez Abbasi performs with his latest project, Junction, as part of the San Jose Jazz Fall Concert Series on October 28 at Cafe Pink House. The series kicked off last Sunday with a frequent collaborator of Abbasi’s, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and his quintet, who performed selections from his acclaimed release, Bird Calls. Before Abbasi & Junction…

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls Engages and Challenges

Over a two-set, nearly two-hour show, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and his quintet showed why they may be one of the best live bands on the national jazz scene today. Spurred on by the ever-changing rhythms of chameleon drummer Dan Weiss, the band showed themselves immensely capable of transforming mood and melody at a beat’s notice.…

SJZ PROGRESSIONS SUMMER MUSIC CAMP AND CONCERT

The third annual SJZ Progressions Summer Music Camp is off to a great start at Valley Christian Schools. Forty-five students are participating in the camp, which runs July 11-22. This year, beginning composition and improvisation classes have been added to challenge and excite our developing musicians. Camp staff are taking advantage of the music lab at…

SJZ Summer Jazz Camp Director Wally Schnalle Plays the Possibilities

Two years ago I became Camp Director of San Jose Jazz Summer Jazz Camp. What a pleasure it has been watching the camp grow! I am really looking forward to camp this year, which will be the 20th Anniversary SJZ Summer Jazz Camp, June 20 to July 1, at Valley Christian High School. I’ve been busy…

SJZ Progressions Announces Concert and Summer Music Camp Dates

Join San Jose Jazz Progressions students and families for a concert and celebration on Saturday, June 4 at 12pm at the Yerba Buena High School auditorium, 1855 Lucretia Ave., San Jose, CA 95122. We are proud of the accomplishments of our students and look forward to sharing their musical gifts with the community! The concert…

SJZ High School All Stars' First Trip to Next Generation Jazz Festival

Absolutely looking forward to the San Jose Jazz High School All Stars‘ performance this Sunday at the Next Generation Jazz Festival (NGJF) in Monterey. This is a huge honor and will be a memorable experience for the students. What is the NGJF, you may be asking yourself? It’s a competitive jazz festival that was started…

Stepping into Spring with SJZ Progressions

This is the time of year when things really start to get good with San Jose Jazz Progressions – students have been playing their instrument for nearly seven months straight, they know and trust their peers, and have developed tight-knit relationships with the staff. We become more agile, and are poised to play “stretch” pieces and…

The Shape of Jazz to Come: Next Gen Performances at SJZ Winter Fest 16

This year, as part of our dedication to featuring great student groups alongside world-class jazz talents at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest presented by Metro, we will be bringing our Next Gen programming to the heart of downtown’s SoFA District. During the final weekend of San Jose Jazz Winter Fest, the top student jazz combos…

Did You Say Free? A Rundown of SJZ Winter Fest Community Events

Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest presented by Metro isn’t just an opportunity to see world-class jazz talent converge on the South Bay. It’s also a great chance for SJZ to shine a spotlight on the year-round activities that provide a glimpse into San Jose’s creative culture. With over 25 separate events scheduled between February…

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