Jazz Studies

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 The Jazz area has attained national recognition for several decades.  It has garnered awards from Reno Jazz Festival, Pacific Coast Jazz Festival, Santa Cruz Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival.  Through the years, the bands have performed all over the U.S. including several trips to Japan. The curriculum covers very unique offerings including Jazz Piano, Jazz Theory and Improvisation as well as numerous award winning Jazz ensembles on many levels.

Through the decades, some of the ensembles have accompanied such greats as Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torm, Delfeayo Marsalis, Doc Severinsen, Ledisi, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Steve Allen, Matt Catingub, Jamey Aebersold, Patti Page, Snooky Young and Pete Christlieb.


Jazz Orchestra
A multi-award-winning group, the Jazz Orchestra has been the flagship of the music department since 1968.This ensemble is the home of outstanding professional musicians and music educators in the community. This ensemble has traveled to Japan to represent Hayward at our sister city Funabashi as well as accompanied jazz greats such as Mel Torme, Doc Severinsen, Rosemary Clooney, Ernie Watts, Lew Soloff, Bobby Shew, Ledisi and many more.

Jazz Ensemble
The Jazz Ensemble is our top multi-award winning student jazz group that consists primarily of music majors. This group finished in the top five amongst two-year schools at a national jazz festival in Reno, Nevada, in 2006 and 2007. In addition, the Jazz Band was invited to compete with top four-year schools in the country at the Next Generation's Festival 2006 sponsored by Monterey Jazz Festival.

Jazz Lab
The Jazz Lab caters to individuals to expand their musical experience in Jazz as well as challenge their ability to contribute in an ensemble setting. This group is a major performance ensemble that consists of several music majors as well as several members from the community.

Jazz Combos
Designed as an integral part if the Jazz Studies Area, the Jazz Combos develop aspiring young musicians to enhance their ability to improvise in a small ensemble setting. Throughout the semester, these combos focus on literature reflecting several jazz styles from the swing to contemporary styles.

Jazz Piano
This class is structured for students to have advance knowledge in Jazz piano.

Jazz Practicum
This class caters to 1 on 1 teaching with the emphasis on improvisation through theory and performance



  • Dave Garibaldi (Drums) performed with Tower of Power
  • Frank Sumares (Piano) performed with Jamey Aebersold and Bill Watrous
  • Ledisi (Vocalist) recording artist for Verve Records
  • Thomas Morgan (Bass) recording artist
  • Mic Gillette (Trumpet) performed with Tower of Power
  • Jeff Prinz (Saxophone) performed and recorded with Rosemary Clooney
  • Steve Bowman (Drums) performed with rock band Counting Crows
  • Donald Kennelly (Trombone) performing with the San Francisco Opera
  • Matt Fenders (Trombone) performing with Jay Lenos Tonight Show
  • David Enos (Bass) performed with Arturo Sandoval and David Bennoit
  • Frank Martin (piano/composer/arranger) performed with Dizzy Gilespie, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, John Handy, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Farrell, and the Slide Hampton Big Band.


Previous Concert Guests

Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, Lew Soloff, Bobby Shew, Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz with Eddie Palmieri and Donald Harrison, Ernie Watts, Guido Fazio, Matt Catingub, Aaron Lington, Mic Gillette, Dave Eshelman, Alex Myrzyn, Frank Sumares, Tim Devine, Paul Tynan, Dann Zinn, Erik Jekabson, Zac Johnson, Ledisi, Andy Martin and Gordon Goodwin.


Contact Us

For more information about the Jazz Studies Area, please contact:

Jon Palacio
Director of Jazz Studies
Building 1100, room 1109