High School Intensive


High School Intensive

A selective program for advanced high school students. Open to 6 – 8 musicians. 

Six to eight advanced high school musicians are selected to work closely with top Bay Area jazz artists for a week of rehearsals, master classes, and private lessons, concluding with a public performance at the Jazzschool.

A departure from the typical one-instructor-to-an-ensemble model, the student group meets daily with a complete ensemble of seasoned professional musicians working to develop improvisation and arranging/composition skills in an intensive rehearsal format. 

For all rhythm section instruments and horns.

Sample Schedule


10 – 11 am group plays from assigned tunes for all faculty

11:15 am – 12 pm individual private lessons

1 – 3 pm group rehearsal with faculty

3 – 4 pm student-run rehearsal

Tuesday – Thursday

10 am – 12 pm master class

1 – 3 pm group rehearsal with faculty

3 – 4 pm student-run rehearsal


11 am – 1 pm dress rehearsal for students

2 – 4 pm faculty open dress rehearsal

8 – 10 pm concert at the California Jazz Conservatory

Tuition: $875

To apply: contact Erik Jekabson for consultation and audition pre-screening erik@cjc.edu

Program Director: Michael Zilber (saxophone)

Additional Faculty: Peter Horvath (piano), Jason Lewis (drums) Jayla Chee (bass) and more to be named. 

Audition Guidelines

Students should prepare one ballad and one uptempo tune, memorizing the melody and changes. 

Please choose from the following:

Ballads – Theme for Ernie (as recorded by John Coltrane), Peace (Horace Silver), Lament (JJ Johnson), A Flower is a Lovesome Thing (Billy Strayhorn)

Up Tempo – The Kicker (Joe Henderson), Evidence (Thelonious Monk), Litha (Chick Corea), Beyond All Limits (Woody Shaw)

Concert key lead sheets for the above tunes can be found here.

Students will also sightread a piece, provided at the audition.

Audition Date: May 1, 2022

For more information and audition prescreening, please contact Young Musicians Program director Erik Jekabson at erik@cjc.edu or call the CJC at 510.845.5373

Dr. Michael Zilber is the director of the Jazzschool’s multiple DownBeat award-winning Advanced High School Jazz Workshop.

Refund Policy: Tuition is non-refundable.



About Dr. Michael Zilber (saxophone)

San Francisco Bay Area-based saxophonist and composer Michael Zilber is described by NEA Jazz Master David Liebman as “one of the best players and composers around anywhere. Period!” The Canadian-born ex-New Yorker has performed and/or recorded with many jazz luminaries over the years, from Liebman to Miroslav Vitous, Mike Clark, Steve Smith and Bob Berg, to name just a very few. Says ALL ABOUT JAZZ,  “Zilber is one of the true masters of modern jazz saxophone, his prodigious talents evidenced by his recordings and live performances are truth.”

Zilber has co-led several notable groups, including with drumming great Steve Smith for eight years, releasing the top 20 recording Reimagined: Jazz Standards, Volume 1 in 2003. As well, for more than a decade, Zilber has frequently collaborated with guitar virtuoso  John Stowell, most recently on 2016’s Basement Blues, on which All About Jazz’s Dan McClenaghan hails  Zilber as “soulful and flawless”. Their 2015 Origin Records recording Live Beauty, made DownBeat magazine’s “best of the year” list for 2015

Zilber has 12 CDs to his credit as a leader, the last 6 on JAZZWEEK Independent Jazz Label of the year  Origin Records Among these are “Originals for the Originals” project, a 2017 Origin album release featuring high-profile sidemen Dave Kikoski, James Genus and Clarence Penn.  ALL ABOUT JAZZ’s Paul Rauch opines “Originals For the Originals is a top 10 of 2017 candidate without a doubt.” His latest release,  East West: Music for Big Bands is a beautifully packaged double CD consisting of an all-star New York and all-star SF big band.  As described by leading Jazz Journalist Andrew Gilbert, “East West – Music for Big Bands embraces multiplicity. It’s beauty AND burn, intense swing AND sweet balladry, all united under Zilber’s commanding and ever expanding creative purview.

Zilber is also a sideman in or part of a collective in various prominent projects, including  Bass virtuoso Kai Eckhardt’s The Resilience,  drumming legend Mike Clark’s “four…and more”, top Trumpet/composer Erik Jekabson’s Stringtet, and playing in and writing for SF-based Electric Squeezebox Orchestra.

In Berkeley, California, he leads the multiple DownBeat award-winning Jazzschool Jazz Workshop, as well as teaching composition, advanced improv and ensembles at the California Jazz Conservatory. Zilber holds a Doctorate in composition from NYU.


About Peter Horvath (piano/keyboards)

Contemporary jazz pianist, keyboardist and composer, Peter Horvath has been perfecting his craft since the age of six when he began taking classical piano lessons. Born in Budapest, Hungary, he attended the Bela Bartok Conservatory of Music.

At age 17, he won the National Jazz Combo Competition in Hungary and two years later moved to Austria to attend the Vienna Conservatory of Music.

In 1983, Peter moved to the United States, where he studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has since performed, recorded and toured nationally and worldwide with a long line of world-class artists, including jazz greats Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Richie Cole, Ernie Watts, Eddie Henderson, Charles McPherson, Benny Maupin, the Victor Bailey Group, Lenny White, Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Marcus Miller, Pee Wee Ellis Funk Assembly, Bob Mintzer, Bob Sheppard, Craig Handy, Tiger Okoshi, Lalah Hathaway, Melba Moore, Ledisi, Keith Washington, Rosie Gaines, Ray Obiedo, Pete Escovedo and the Oakland Symphony. Peter composed for and performed with David Garibaldi for his critically acclaimed Warner Brothers video/CD series and recorded the tracks for Aretha Franklin’s performance of the National Anthem at the 1993 World Series.

Peter is currently on faculty at the California Jazz Conservatory, Saint Mary’s College of California and Stanford Jazz Consortium.

Peter Horvath’s first solo recording, FOREIGN MATTER, has received enormous national contemporary jazz radio airplay. In its first week of release, it was the #1 most added recording to Gavin’s Adult Alternative Chart and #2 most added to Radio & Record’s NAC Chart.

His new album, ABSOLUTE REALITY, features some of the greatest names in jazz, like Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Victor Bailey, Lenny White, Dean Brown, the late Ricky Lawson, Ray Obiedo, Larry Kimpel, Walfredo Reyes, Jr., Karl Perazzo, Peter Michael Escovedo, and others. All original compositions, the music fuses a variety of elements from hard-hitting funk jazz with horns, to pieces with Latin and straight-ahead jazz influences, along with some beautiful mid-tempo tunes and ballads, even a solo piano performance to close the album with. The sound represents the musical diversity of the Bay Area along with the influences of years of touring and recording with some of the greats in jazz and beyond.


About Jason Lewis (drums)

Jason Lewis graduated from the classical percussion program at San Jose State University, under the direction of Tony Cirone of the San Francisco Symphony, with a B.A. in music. Mr.Lewis has taught privately in the bay area, coached at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and has performed clinics at schools throughout the San Jose area.

He has played with a variety of talented musicians including; John Stowell, Gary Burton, Gil Goldstein, James Moody, Mark Murphy, Bob Sheppard, Steve Rodby, Paul McCandless, Norma Winstone, Larry Coryell, Darol Anger, Regina Carter, Johnny Frigo, James Carter, John Handy, Anton Schwartz, Terry Disley, Mark Levine, Peter Apfelbaum, Paul Nagel, and Kurt Elling. Mr.Lewis has also performed with the San Jose Symphony and the San Jose Civic Light Opera.

Besides performing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with many groups, often with bassist John Shifflett, Mr. Lewis has toured and recorded with Boz Scaggs, Michael Brook, Djivan Gasparyan, Ann Dyer and Taylor Eigsti. He can be heard on numerous recordings as well as TV (Spark on PBS), Video Game (Godfather 2) and Movie Soundtracks (Affliction, Albino Alligator, Ratatouille-“Our Friend the Rat”).


About Jayla Chee (bass)

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jayla Chee took up the upright bass her sophomore year of high school after playing the trumpet. During high school, she participated in programs such as Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, YoungArts, and Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra. She has since played music across the country as well as internationally, in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. She has shared the stage with the likes of Kurt Elling, Sean Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Derrick Hodge, Allison Miller, Randy Napoleon, Vince Lateano, Pasquale Grasso, and Andrew Speight. Chee currently lives in California and New York, where she studies jazz bass performance at The Juilliard School with Gerald Cannon.