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Progressions in Focus: "When You Know Me by Name"

Progressions Director Julie Rinard periodically shares her student interactions with us, as part of the San Jose Jazz blog. In this update, she recalls how introducing two students helped to finally resolve an ongoing conflict. A male student from Success Academy has a trumpet that his father gave him. He is proud of that instrument…

Progressions in Focus: Just When You Think You Have Someone Figured Out

Progressions Director Julie Rinard periodically shares stories about interactions with her students, which we post on our blog. Below, Julie recounts the program finally getting through to a troublemaker. Jesus is a kid who knows how to get under your skin. He is intransigent, an odd mix of apparent apathy and a bully. Throughout the…

Progressions In Focus: "When I Close My Eyes"

In this guest post from Progressions Director Julie Rinard, she recounts how eager her students were to begin their instrument training on recorder. Forty-nine kids attended the Progressions Summer Music Camp. Of those 49 kids, 27 signed up for the weekly music classes in July and August. The environment for the classes was relaxed, an opportunity…

New Beginnings: Launching First Progressions Summer Music Program

This is a guest blog post from Progressions Director Julie Rinard, who we feature on the blog periodically to provide an insider’s look at our Progressions initiative. In this post, she previews our inaugural Progressions Summer Music Program, which kicks off in less than a week. At this time last year, the Progressions spring semester…

Recap: Inaugural Progressions Nucleo at Santee Elementary

In this guest post, Progressions Director Julie Rinard recaps what students from our three Progressions schools experienced in their first “nucleo,” a community event that brought our programs together for a morning of cultural expression and collaboration. Below, she recaps the excitement that ensued. Saturday, May 3, 2014, 9:18 am – I expected to be the first one…

Eye on the Scene: Ren Geisick

Photo Credit: Carrillo + Decoux For our periodic blog series Eye on the Scene, we take a closer look at some of the local artists helping make an impact on our jazz community. Our newest addition: Ren Geisick, a powerful vocal presence who is using her jazz chops to illuminate songs from a number of styles…

Summer Jazz Camp Director Wally Schnalle Helps Students Discover the Possibilities

Boasting a catalogue that now stretches eight albums, drummer Wally Schnalle has made quite the career for himself on the Bay Area jazz scene. Referring to himself playfully during our conversation as “the fusion guy,” Schnalle’s work extends to stints both as a bandleader and a supporting player. Equally at home backing a blues band…

Akira Tana Takes "Otonowa" From Japan to Summer Fest

A California native, acclaimed drummer Akira Tana has worked with the likes of Sonny Rollins, Hubert Laws, Milt Jackson, Lena Horne and the Manhattan Transfer since earning degrees from Harvard University and the New England Conservatory of Music. Having appeared on over 150 recordings, Tana has co-led the quintet TanaReid with bassist Rufus Reid, releasing…

Update from Progressions Director Julie Rinard

In this guest post, Progressions Director Julie Rinard updates readers on all that she and her team have been up to recently. Below, she updates us on the program’s instrument drive and newly-implemented instrumental component. She also recaps a recent visit Winter Fest 2014 artists La Santa Cecilia paid to the Progressions students and parents…

Winter Fest 2014 Wrap Up

As San Jose Jazz’s in-house blogger, most of my work is done in the three or four weeks leading up to the festival, whether it’s through spreading the word via social media or speaking to artists directly so our audience can become more acquainted with whom they’ll see in San Jose. This year, I had…

Winter Fest 2014: Exclusive Interview with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Pt. II)

In part one of our conversation with Winter Fest 2014 headliner Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, the LA-based multi-instrumentalist and composer opened up about his early years as a musician and explained how growing up in a family of music nerds brought him up in an environment with very few, if any, musical boundaries. In part two, we…

Winter Fest 2014 Spotlight: Anton Schwartz

In Anton Schwartz’s bio, a key quote explains the saxophonist’s unique musical perspective: “What I require for music to really captivate me is groove and intellect working in tandem. Music that gets into your bones, into your head and into your heart.” The head and the heart – an interesting, yet apt, interplay that only a musician,…

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