Stepping into Spring with SJZ Progressions – San Jose Jazz

Stepping into Spring with SJZ Progressions


Progressions_IMG_5079_HWallaceThis is the time of year when things really start to get good with San Jose Jazz Progressions – students have been playing their instrument for nearly seven months straight, they know and trust their peers, and have developed tight-knit relationships with the staff. We become more agile, and are poised to play “stretch” pieces and venture into new settings. But the best part of all is we still have another two months to gel as a group! We are proud to announce the release of a new video, Progressions 2.0, which offers an in-depth look at how the program is flourishing at four days per week. Thanks in part to a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, this year Progressions will produce a series of video blogs that highlight different aspects of the program. Check out it out and share with your friends. In February, Progressions Program Manager Sofia Lozano (pictured below in a red jacket, top left) accepted a $25,000 grant award from the Sharks Foundation on behalf of San Jose Jazz. Thanks to the Sharks Foundation for your generosity – your gift is preparing us to enter the 2016-17 school year feeling financially secure! We also look forward to taking advantage of more offers for free tickets to Sharks games, one of the favorite perks of the grant by our students and families! Sharks Foundation_IMG_2997 Thanks to our ongoing partnership with the San Jose State University School of Music and Dance, 31 Progressions students participated in a field trip to SJSU on February 12 to interact in a small-group setting with Tiffany Wee, Andrew Moses, Gianfranco Baltazar, Leyla Kabuli and other performers from NPR's From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley. Broadcast live from SJSU on Saturday February 13 during the CMEA annual conference, the program is available online and is filled with amazing performances and uplifting stories. During an educational event the day before the show was recorded, SJZ Progressions and SJSU Young Musicians' Project students engaged with young musicians from across California who have overcome obstacles and beat tFrom the Tophe odds to rise to the top. Upon their return to school, one principal noted how energized the kids were to have had the chance to connect with talented youth whohad inspired them to want to work hard to become better musicians. We are rolling out a new and improved format for our Saturday Nucleo programming this spring that includes a discrete theme for each event led by a different instructor. The goal is to expose students to a variety of musical genres and concepts that reflect the interests and priorities of our staff. The February theme was Crazy 'bout the Blues led by Oscar Pangilinan and included teaching students the blues scale, having them write their own blues lyrics, and doing improv solos. Local musicians Mason Razavi, guitar, Sutton Marley drums, and Fred Paclibon, bass, volunteered their time, student enthusiasm was high, and parents contributed food in celebration of Chinese New Year. To view an excerpt of the event, click here. Gary Ortega recently led a session on Band Aids: Fixing Musical Boo-boos through Practice, which got students thinking about goal-setting and the importance of a strong practice routine. This past week, we also did a series of open house style events to give parents an opportunity to observe a real classroom setting and for students to do mid-semester performances. From Veronica Christie’s arrangement of Star Wars for Meadows intermediate band students to Alex Taylor’s traditional dance tune Alabama Gal for community music, students were proud to showcase their skills for parents and members of their school community. Sabrosito 2This Saturday, March 26, Progressions students will participate in one final performance before spring break. They will help the Franklin McKinley Children’s Initiative celebrate the new Santee Community Center Grand Opening from 11 am – 1 pm at 1399 Santee Dr. After our students perform as the opening act during the main ceremony, the San Jose Jazz Boom Box will take center stage and feature San Jose's Sabrosito. The event is free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you!  

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