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Jazz at the College of the Canyons

Students seeking a solid foundation for a career in contemporary music have the opportunity to work with ensembles that explore some of the most demanding charts available. Classroom instruction and private lessons in Jazz further prepare students for work in a wide array of music settings. Combined with the Music Department’s cutting edge technology and recording facilities, and performance opportunities at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center with its spectacular design and state-of-the-art sound system, Jazz studies at College of the Canyons is a rare value in music education.

Music-106 History & Development of Jazz instruction begins with precursors to 1900, New Orleans influences at the turn of the century, beginnings of the recording industry, roaring twenties, swing era and its icons, advances in recording and amplification technology, and continues through bebop, cool, funky avant-garde, third stream, fusion and use of electronic instruments and their accouterments.

Music-126 Pop & Jazz Music Theory focuses on the theoretical principles and practices found within the styles of jazz and pop music. The course emphasizes analytical comprehension of style and chordal structure.

Music-151 Jazz Improvisation has been the longest continuing jam session in the Santa Clarita Valley. The formal structure of this course includes:

  • Jazz terminology
  • Scales & chord construction
  • Harmonic functions, form & melodic devices
  • Time (meter) studies
  • Jazz literature
  • Pattern studies, semitone equations
  • Dynamics
  • Positive attitude, professionalism & respect for others

Music-173 Jazz Vocal Ensemble, or Just Jazz, provides the advanced singer an opportunity to learn and develop jazz vocal technique, including how to work with a sound system (microphones, mixing board, monitors, and speakers) and a jazz trio (piano, bass and drums). The repertoire consists of vocal arrangements from standard and progressive jazz schools.

The COC Studio Jazz Ensemble examines the historical basis of jazz and fosters the improvement of jazz performance skills on wind, string, vocal or percussion instruments through participation in public concerts. This course includes the analysis of repertoire, reading, rehearsal and performance of contemporary pop and commercial styles including but not limited to: swing, bebop, rock, fusion, funk, and Afro-Caribbean styles.

COC Studio Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble Audio Excerpts

Jazz Ensemble Photo Gallery