Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band represents the best of the best high-school student musicians from Santa Cruz and neighboring counties. Hand-picked by their band directors, these talented young ambassadors of jazz pass a rigorous audition to earn their position in the Honor Band. During weekly rehearsals at Kuumbwa, they study advanced jazz theory, arranging, improvisation, and learn valuable life skills in teamwork and critical thinking. Under the direction of Terrel Eaton, the band gains vital performing experience at special events and festivals throughout the school year, culminating in a special headline performance at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
Band director Eaton has taught music in Santa Cruz County for three decades. He currently directs the Honor Band, and co-directs the Kuumbwa Jazz Camp. As a performer, he has toured/recorded with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Bonnie Raitt, David Sanborn, Randy Brecker, Dave Holland, and Larry Elgart.