The Davis Community Jazz Band (excerpt from the UC Davis Extension Press Release)

Are you one of the many adult instrumentalists who used to play in high school or college, eventually stopped playing only to take it up again later in life? Are you a classical musician who’s always had an interest in learning to play jazz? If so, then you might be interested in a new 10 week course being offered on Thursday nights through UC Davis Extension, The Davis Community Jazz Band.

This new ensemble is being offered on Thursday nights from 7-9pm and is, as the director Adam Jenkins calls it, “a new approach to learning to play jazz music”. “It’s different approach than a lot of ensembles," says saxophonist/composer Jenkins “because I’ve hired a professional rhythm section to help drive the band, to give the players a feel for what it’s like having a swinging rhythm section backin’ you up.”

Another unique aspect is that Mr. Jenkins is going to be arranging the music specifically for the players in the band so that ‘each part that a person plays will be written for the level they’re at, so as they progress, the music can progress with them.’

“A lot of times when you have an ensemble that is made out of differing levels of players either the more advanced players get bored or the beginning players get frustrated so one group tends to drop out” says Jenkins. “That’s no good since the beginning players can learn a lot from their more advanced peers. It’s how jazz used to be taught, it was more of an apprentice system than some formalized class setting”

The rhythm section will include Jack Stanfill on drums and Gerry Pineda on bass. Bassists and drummers who enroll will be placed opposite their professional counterpart and will be coached by both. Each class will start with a 30 minute ‘lecture’ on jazz theory and improvisation techniques followed by a one and a half hour rehearsal.

“I think the main goal of this class is to have a really fun time playing some of the greatest music America has to offer,” says Jenkins. “If it’s popular enough, we hope to keep it running throughout the year.”

For more information you may contact Adam Jenkins at (530) 792-7497 or email him at [email protected]. For information on enrolling in the course contact UC Davis Extension at (530) 757-8777.


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2007-06-12 03:06:30   What really keeps confusing me about this is the name. I like the idea, I think it's great but it's not exactly a community band if you have to pay to participate. The name on the extension's page makes more sense "Community Jazz Band Workshop". Alternately it would be cool if people graduated from this to a real Community Band that played things like Farmers Market I'd be down to participate in that anytime. —AlexMandel

2007-10-02 16:36:42   Alex. Thanks for your comment. The class couuld really use a new name to better describe it. The community jazz band moniker came from UCD Extension, but now the group is no longer associated with Extension and should change its name. We refer to it as "the adult jazz band class," but that's not too sexy a name. Really need something else.

I've been attending the class from the beginning and the fee is well worth it. Adam Jenkins, Jack Stanfield and Gerry Pineta are excellent musicians and terrific teachers. I've learned a great deal from them. The class is geared mostly toward beginning and intermediate players looking for instruction and experience in improv and ensemble playing. It's my dream that eventually the class will produce enough competent amateur players to form a true community jazz band. I'm not quite there in terms of chart reading and technique, but I'm improving along with the others in the class and hope to be ready soon for an amateur band. —PeteBasofin