Jazz Studies

Jazz Studies Program

The Marin School of the Arts Jazz Band program includes groups with approximately 18 to 24 members. Bands are made up of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, drums, bass, guitar and piano. Students are exposed to a wide variety of jazz covering swing, bebop, Latin, blues, ballad, fusion, and popular music.

Students will progress in the program based on skill level and will play music that is appropriate for an advanced high school or intermediate college band.Instruction comes from seasoned teachers, top professionals in the music field, and peer mentoring.


“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing,
a creative force…
When we are listened to,
it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

MSA-Advanced-Jazz-classAreas of Study

Students will work on a variety of skills including intonation, accuracy of rhythm, articulations, phrasing and style characteristics. The Marin School of the Arts Jazz Band performs extensively in the community and at many festivals. Students are expected to make time available for performances and festivals. Students are required to practice outside of class. MSA Jazz Studies fosters atmosphere of excellence, where each student is important to the whole. 

MSA Jazz Studies fosters a culture of jazz performance and students dedicated to not only performing but perpetuating the art form of jazz. students work on skills listed above, as well as transcribing, theory, group dynamics and the fundamentals of music.

Students who graduate from MSA Jazz Studies matriculate to many excellent music schools including, the Berklee College of Music, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, leading Cal State music programs like those at Cal State Longbeach, and UCLA music programs, to name a few.

Course Offerings 2014-15:

  • Jazz Band 1 – Advanced Band 1
  • Jazz Band 2 – Advanced Band 2
  • Jazz Band 3 – Intermediate Band 1
  • Jazz Band 4 – Intermediate Band 2
  • Jazz Combo – New! Includes  multiple small group combos with five to nine members each exploring a repertoire in the rich tradition of small group jazz. The intensive class include weekly study in theory, improvisation, technique, ear training and performance technique. Jazz Combo students will perform in the community as well as at jazz festivals. Each combo band will also participate in recording music.

MSA Jazz awards 2013-14:

Folsom Jazz Festival

  • Jazz Band 1 — 1st place Sweepstakes winner
  • Jazz Band 2 — 3rd place Division A
  • Jazz Band 3 — 3rd place Division B
  • Jazz Band 4 — 2nd place Division C

Next Generation Monterey Jazz Festival

  • Jazz Band 1 and Jazz Band 2 two of twelve bands selected nationwide to participate and compete for a chance to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival

Reno Jazz Festival

  • Jazz Band 1 — 1st place AAAA High School Band Division
  • Jazz Band 2 — 3rd place AAA High School Band Division
  • Jazz Band 4 — 1st place APII High School Band Division