Music Education in our Community

From its inception, Healdsburg Jazz has placed great emphasis on music education, on creating programs that expose youth to jazz’s history and values.  Jazz over the decades has demonstrated a singular capacity to bridge cultural gaps and bring people of diverse backgrounds together in a positive and productive atmosphere.

Healdsburg Jazz and area educators understand that jazz, with its simultaneous focus on individual creativity and group cooperation, reflects the American experience at its most profound and that the organization’s music education programs instill in the community jazz’s core values of respect, civility and collaboration. Providing the programs free of charge makes them readily available to everyone, including the county’s lower socio-economic population, and advances Healdsburg Jazz’s mission to have music serve as unifying force in an increasingly diverse region. Download our Music Education overview, and follow the links below to learn more about all our Jazz Education programs.

View and click through our series of Jazz Education videos below:

Operation Jazz Band

Oover the past 17 years Operation Jazz Band has introduced thousands of Grade 5 students to the living tradition of jazz by bringing professional musicians into their classrooms. Students learn about music in general, jazz in particular and are encouraged to take up an instrument. These music education programs represent a vital service to constituents in an era when such curriculum has virtually disappeared from California classrooms.

OJB classes provide positive, sophisticated and enjoyable opportunities for students to witness creative musical performances that boost cross-cultural understanding and learn about jazz, which has been a part of American music for a century. OJB helps students develop creative thinking and curiosity and stimulates cooperative class work.  » Visit this page to learn more

Black History Month Program

Healdsburg Jazz expanded its capacity to serve its constituents in 2012 by creating a Black History Month program for students in grades 3-6. It is a four-part program that includes nine school lecture-demonstrations with a concert field trip and after school Student Choir and Band that will perform in front of their peers at the student concert.

Drawing on its ties to the Bay Area jazz community, the organization engaged bassist-composer Marcus Shelby to conduct Civil Rights-themed workshops at eight Healdsburg and Geyserville schools. Shelby blends music and other media to present in-depth but accessible portraits of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman and other relevant themes, that empower students to fulfill their role in society’s ongoing struggle for full equality. » Visit this page to learn more

Student Jazz Combo Competition

The latest addition to Healdsburg Jazz music education, the Student Jazz Combo Competition (SJCC) recruits young musicians from across Sonoma County to form ensembles of up to six members to meet either in school or during  after-school hours to select and/or write material that reflects their personal vision of jazz.

To support the creative process, SJCC provides to students the opportunity to work with professional musicians to address specific areas where the groups feel they need the most help, including arranging, rhythm and horn sections, and how best to incorporate vocals. SJCC’s inaugural year culminates in  April with the groups performing before family, friends and community members at a juried competition, with the top ensemble receiving $1,000 and the opportunity to open for a Healdsburg Jazz Festival headliner. » Learn more about the SJCC

Latin Jazz Lecture and Concert

Recognizing that many of the Latin American families in our community are of Mexican descent, Healdsburg Jazz has engaged educator/musician John Santos to lead a Latin Jazz Lecture and Concert for the full secondary-school student bodies at Healdsburg High School, Healdsburg Junior High and Geyserville High School. The lecture portion will describe the roots of Latin Jazz, highlighting the significant roles played by Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Mexican and Caribbean music on the development Latin Jazz. Santos will mention in his narrative the significant role of music from Mexico and how it has played a significant role in the development of Latin Jazz.

An important benefit to the youth community learning about the roots of Latin Jazz could be summarized by Santos’s statement, “The greatest asset of this music is that it is truly a hybrid with influences that connect all of us.” » Learn more about Latin Jazz Education