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Placement & Audition Requirements – Winter 2016


To schedule an audition, please fill out the ONLINE APPLICATION. After your application is received, you will be contacted within 1 – 2 weeks with an audition time. Auditions are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis and will be scheduled at the earliest available time. Students will be contacted with placement information following the audition.


Online Application





Auditions are still in progress for high school and middle school combos.  Please contact erik@cjc.edu to schedule an audition.


Jazzschool Youth Combos

These auditions are for small combos (5-9 musicians) for both High School and Middle School age musicians.

Entering musicians are asked to prepare two skill-level appropriate jazz standards, improvise over a 12-bar blues (optional) or rhythm changes (for high school students only) and sight-read.

Drummers: please demonstrate your ability to play a swing groove, a Latin or straight 8th groove, and improvise within these grooves.  If able, you can demonstrate your ballad or waltz playing abilities.


Jazzschool Studio Band

These auditions are for the Jazzschool’s Award-Winning Studio Band, a 20 piece big band made up of high school musicians from around the Bay Area and conducted by Dave Eshelman.  Musicians who audition for the Studio Band but don’t make it will automatically be considered for jazz combos.

Studio Band Audition Materials

1. Bring in a standard of your choice to play and improvise over
2. Be prepared to solo over either a 12 bar blues or rhythm changes
3. Be prepared to sight read.
4. Prepare the piece below according to your instrument

Prepared Pieces:
Trumpets, saxophones, piano and guitar: play the melody to “Freddie Froo” at a minimum of quarter note = 180
Trombones and bass: play the melody to “Tricotism” at a minimum of quarter note = 140
Drum set: play the “Studio Band Drum Audition Piece” at quarter note = 166

Freddie Froo Bb
Freddie Froo Concert
Freddie Froo Eb
Studio Band Drum Audition Piece


Advanced High School Jazz Workshop

These are for the Jazzschool’s Award-Winning high school combos. Workshop I is coached by Michael Zilber and Workshop II is coached by Erik Jekabson.  Musicians who audition for the workshops but don’t make it will automatically be considered for jazz combos.

Please prepare either “Firm Roots” or “Grand Central” as an up-tempo tune and “Prelude to a Kiss” or “My Little Brown Book” as a ballad and be prepared to sight read and demonstrate your ability to play in different time signatures such as 5/4 and 7/4.



Students have the option of submitting an online video audition rather than scheduling an in-person audition. Students submitting their audition online are still required to fill out an online application (see above). On the application form, please select live audition or video submission. Please note: online video submissions are not available for the Studio Band or Advanced High School Jazz Workshops.

Instructions for Online Video Submission

  • Student should be clearly visible (and audible) on the video.
  • Perform two skill-level appropriate jazz standards. Please state the name of each piece before you play it.
  • Download one of the two improvisation tracks by clicking here for the improvisation portion of your audition. Two choruses required.
  • On the video, it is important that your playing is heard louder than anything else, including any accompanying tracks.

Piano and Guitar Players

Follow the above instructions with only one change: after improvising, please demonstrate comping/voicings on a blues or rhythm changes.


Please demonstrate the following styles:

  • swing, bossa nova, funk/rock
  • Demonstrate each style at various tempos (i.e. slow, medium, fast)
  • On each style/tempo please “trade fours” with yourself (4 bars of time, 4 bars of solo, etc.) Make sure your different style and trading 4s demonstrations last for at least 16 measures each.

After you have completed your video, upload your audition to YouTube and title the video with your name (Example: John Smith Jazzschool Audition). You should make this a private video (unless you don’t mind it being available to the public). Once the video is uploaded, send a link to erik@cjc.edu. You may also upload the video to a private website and email a link. Please do not email audition videos as attachments.


The Word

The Jazzschool is unique…I love it!

— Eric Siegel, Jazzschool Student
Stellar Jam Japan