This May, West Ranch High School hosted their yearly Super Jazz at the Ranch festival, a jazz festival in which students from various Junior Highs and High Schools compete with each other and listen to music from other bands in Southern California.
Super Jazz, which was formed in 1997 by renowned educator Bob Babko, has served as an endgame for many jazz bands in Hart School District in Santa Clarita.
“It’s for all the bands to showcase what they’ve been working on for the past year,” said West Ranch student Wyatt Nelson.
These bands are all given a time slot, in which they perform on one of three stages in front of a panel of judges. Then, at the end of the competition, awards are given out for bands based on their skill level, which could be either novice, intermediate, advanced or heavy.
Not only is Super Jazz the place for students to show off their chops, but it is also the place to learn valuable information as a jazz musician, with two separate informative clinics from professional musicians, Michael Mull and Jacob Mann. Mull’s workshop focused on melodic playing, while Mann’s had to do with rhythm, and “feeling” the the time or tempo of music.
“It’s a matter of schools being able to showcase their talent and show their friends and families what they can do for jazz,” Nelson said.