Student Jazz Combo Competition & Jam, 4/20/19

Our annual Student Jazz Combo Competition (SJCC) recruits young musicians from across Sonoma County to form ensembles of up to six members to select and/or write material that reflects their personal vision of jazz.

The goal of the program is to encourage young musicians to explore their creativity in a small-group format, bring talented musicians together in a friendly competition, showcase talented high school musicians to a wider audience, and inspire students and bands to continue performing and playing jazz in coming years.

The competing schools’ combos will perform their material before a live audience of family, friends and community members at a juried competition, on Saturday, April 20, from noon – 5 p.m. The top ensemble receives $1,000 and the opportunity to open for a Healdsburg Jazz Festival headliner, and two runners-up are chosen.

This year the six participating schools are Healdsburg High School, Montgomery High School (Santa Rosa), Petaluma High School, Ranch Cotate High School (Rohnert Park), Sonoma Academy (Santa Rosa) and Windsor High School.

The winning combos were, in first place, The Jazz Corner from Windsor High School, which is awarded $1,000 and will be opening the June 1 concert for DEJOHNETTE-COLTRANE-GARRISON.

Second place was taken by the Petaluma High School Jazz Combo (awarded $500), and third went to Montgomery’s Mind & Soul Quintet ($250).

“All bands did a good job and their spirits were high,” said Jessica Felix. “I feel they all enjoyed themselves and got a real jazz experience.”

The awards ceremony was followed by a 6 p.m. concert and student jam with the David Weiss Sextet, featuring Weiss – co-founder of The Cookers – on trumpet, with J.D Allen on tenor sax, James Mahone on alto, E.J. Strickland on drums, Keith Saunders on piano and Alex Boneham on bass. It all takes place at Windsor High School (8695 Windsor Rd, Windsor).

This was a free competition and performance for the Healdsburg Jazz community, for the third year. Come listen to the bands, cheer on your favorite school and show support for music education for all age groups at next year’s Student Jazz Combo Competition.