Jazz Studies

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The Jazz Studies Program has augmented the already excellent faculty by adding two of the best and most acclaimed young jazz musician/educators in the Bay Area: Jeff Marrs on drums and Erik Jekabson on trumpet. Both have extensive experience playing with some of the leading musicians in the world, and will be working closely with Dr. Michael Zilber (program director) to offer the finest jazz program of any 2 year college in the State of California. All three core jazz faculty have spent years performing and teaching around the world, recording as leaders and sidemen, and all bring the seasoning of the New York and Boston approach to the music. The three are also trained and experienced educators, with doctorates and Masters degrees from NYU, New England Conservatory and San Francisco Conservatory. Marrs is also graduates of Los Medanos College, so we are most pleased to have him returning full circle to the program as accomplished professionals.

Joining the core jazz faculty is longtime LMC faculty Joan Cifarelli on piano (another former LMC grad) and Mike Williams on guitar, both strong and knowledgeable musician/educators in their own right. The faculty has performed and recorded with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to John Mayer, played leading festivals and clubs from Monterey to Montreal to Montreux, and won many prestigious awards.

Michael Zilber is extremely happy and optimistic about the direction the program is taking. “I couldn't be more pleased to have energetic and world-class jazz musicians joining me as we move the program forward. I have always believed that the best jazz educators are also accomplished working professionals. We want to take the strengths of the jazz program at LMC and build on them, both with new faculty and new and exciting course ideas. I believe that we are doing that.“

The course offerings currently include 3 levels of jazz-funk-latin workshop, a day and night band, intro to improvisation, and jazz piano. Due to Dr. Zilber’s position as artistic director of the Yoshi’s-Jazzschool Institute, LMC students have the opportunity to attend clinics and concerts at the fabled Yoshi’s of SF and Oakland as well as at the Jazzschool in Berkeley.