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Inside Look at Jazz Band

Jazz Band performing at Spring Concert

   From AP classes to the arts, Miami High offers a variety of classes. One class that doesn’t get as much recognition as it should is the Jazz Band, having only 29 students enrolled. This class is a great way to experiment with improvising and getting into different types of melodies and harmonies. 


What was your reason to join Jazz Band? 

   There are many factors that come to play when joining something new.  Robert Capetillo, a senior baritone saxophonist starting his 2nd year in Jazz Band, commented, “My reason to join Jazz Band was for the opportunity to excel and further explore my passion for music. I was offered an instrument and at the first glimpse, I thought ‘oh my gosh, I want to play that.’”  

   Alberto Acosta, a senior Tenor Saxophonist going into his 3rd year in Jazz Band, said his reason for joining was the result of facing family struggles. He transitioned from being an AP Psychology student to a jazz player. Jazz Band introduced him to a different environment from a typical symphonic concert band, allowing room for new experiences and a healthier state of mind. 


The impact of Jazz Band on One’s Life 

   It may seem like an ordinary band to many, but these musicians connect with the music on another level. It allows them to appreciate the components that make up what they play together as a whole while growing as an individual in the process. 

   Katherine Sanchez, senior Alto Saxophonist, already a 2nd year jazz member, shared that through her experience in the class, she’s gained confidence, both as a person and as a musician due to the fact there is a lot of improvisation to be done on the spot. 

   You make connections with the people around you, especially when you spend around a year or more in the same environment.  Justin Brooks, senior trumpet player, in his 3rd year in Jazz Band, said, “Jazz has given me opportunities to perform at new places and meet new people. I’ve made a lot of my friends from jazz band especially.” 


Life in the Jazz Band 

   Spending your time on something you love and have a passion for allows you to express yourself. Jazz band has a positive vibe, which is needed to spark a fire in oneself.  

Justin Brooks (trumpet) and Anthony Whiskey (Piano)

   Christian Rodriguez, a junior pianist in his 3rd year of Jazz Band, said, “What it’s like to be in Jazz Band, depends on the song, and on the instructor. But honestly by the end of the day, everybody is going to have a great time. Jazz is supposed to make you feel very happy.” 

   Katherine Sanchez loves this class because she has an amazing time any time she’s playing her saxophone. She feels like she’s free to experiment with variations of chords or her general knowledge of music scales on the spot without previous preparation. 


Disadvantages and Advantages 

    A majority of Jazz Band students stated that there are no disadvantages to the class besides pressure, which also helps them to work harder when playing the given music.  Add to that it’s a difficult class due the difficulty of playing complex combinations of rhythms. 

   Alberto says that there are more advantages than disadvantages in the band, allowing more doors to open. With a good understanding of the basic elements that make up rhythm and tempo, he said, you’ll be okay. 


Should you take this class? 

   Aaron Rodríguez, a junior Bass Trombone player, said, “Jazz Band has been one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in Miami High. And I believe it’s an awesome experience everyone should want to strive for.” 

   Robert Capetillo says, “When you casually listen to music, you don’t appreciate or understand what goes on past the melody and the lyrics. For me, at least personally, once you further involve yourself in what jazz is, it broadens your knowledge on how to appreciate music more.” 



Photo by Matamoros, Dariela A – 0518701


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