Fall 2015 President’s Message

Dear Members,

I have completed my first year as President and am excited about some new things that our Board has planned for our members this year. We are working to put in place a clinic system that you can use online to get help for your groups. You will be able to log in and select your clinician and then have a live session with them listening to and giving help to your students. You will be able to choose a clinician by instrument or by style and they will work with your group to help them achieve the sound and style that you are looking for.

We have already selected clinics and clinicians to present at the 2016 CASMEC in San Jose and we have posted the Etudes for the All-State HS Band and Choir and the Jr. High Band. Because of a few issues with the online upload of auditions, jazz will still be the only groups that are allowed to use the new system. We want to encourage more participation in our All-State vocal jazz ensemble. Kate Reid from the University of Miami will be the conductor and she is one of the most sought after vocal jazz conductors in the world. Conducting our Jr. High Jazz Band will be Justin Padilla from Oak Middle School in Los Alamitos and our High School Jazz Ensemble will be conducted by Steve Roach Director of Jazz Studies at Sacramento State University.

We are also completing our list of finalists for the CAJ Hall of Fame, honoring those jazz educators who have made the most impact in Jazz Education in our state. Finally, we are working to make our State Jazz Championships an even better festival. This year we had the most groups ever entered into the Championships. We are working to streamline the process and improve it to ensure that all groups that enter will get the best experience possible.

It’s a great time to be a member of CAJ. We have a wonderfully talented and hard working Board that works very hard to improve jazz education in our state and provide opportunities to perform jazz on the highest levels. We hope that you will continue as members and also invite your fellow teachers to join us. Go to to join or renew your membership.

GO Jazz!!


By | September 16th, 2015|Categories: News|0 Comments

All-State Jazz Groups Auditions

Materials are now available for the 2016 All-State Jazz Groups auditions.

Please visit the CBDA website for All-State Jazz Band AND All-State Jazz Choir audition information.


By | September 13th, 2015|Categories: News|0 Comments

June President’s Message

Dear CAJ members,

As I finish my first year as President I am very excited about the efforts of CAJ. This year we helped bring you 7 wonderful clinics at CASMEC including:
Vocal Clinics by Matt Faulkner, Keith Pederson, Jennifer Barnes, and Roger Treece. In addition we had instrumental and improvisation clinics by Mike Dana, Make Kamuf, and John Maltester. We also had a wonderful concert performed by the USAF Commanders Big Band.

The deadline for clinics and performances has just passed and I am pleased to announce that we have 15 applications for clinics and 9 applications for performances. This is the most applications that we have ever received and the CAJ Board is looking forward to selecting the groups and clinics that will be featured at CASMEC in 2016 San Jose.

Conductors for the 2016 All-State Honor Jazz groups will be:
Jr. High – Justin Padilla, Oak Middle School
High School – Steve Roach, Sacramento State University
Vocal – Kate Reid, University of Miami

I just returned from the Stand Up 4 Music Coalition meeting in Sacramento on May 21st and was able to meet with my Senator, Andy Vidak and speak with him regarding the state of music education in our schools. I also met with the Communication Directors of three other Senators and two Assemblymen and gave them an update on SB 275 the Bill to get the Visual and Performing Arts standards updated. Each group we met with was very supportive. Because of their support, the Bill was passed unanimously in the Senate last week and will now go to the State Assembly.

Finally, through advocacy and visits to the State capital, I hope that CAJ’s voices will be heard to make sure that Jazz remains a vital part of a quality education in California. Please go to and register your email address so that you can be notified when music education issues come to the fore in our legislature. Also check out to get info on how music increases brain function and helps our students to do better in school and society.

Finally, visit our website at and check out the resources available to you there as well as the Board page to see how many great educators from our state are working together to promote Jazz in California. Finally, join our organization! We are shaping the course of Jazz Education and we need your input and your help.

Lisa Butts
President, CAJ

By | June 8th, 2015|Categories: Advocacy, CASMEC 2016, News|0 Comments

Congratulations to CAJ Championships Participants!

The results of the 2015 CAJ Championships are in! We had great participation this year and we hope to have all of you (and more!) back next year. We hope the recorded comments you received are educational and insightful. Please send festival feedback to:

By | June 1st, 2015|Categories: Kudos, News|0 Comments

Congratulations California Downbeat Award Winners!

Congratulations to the many California schools that received top honors in the 2015 Downbeat Student Music Awards! Below are California schools that received either an ensemble award and/or and individual student award.

Ralston Middle School, Belmont
Independence High School, San Francisco
Northgate High School, Walnut Creek
Colburn Community School of Performing Arts, Los Angeles
Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach
Folsom High School, Folsom
Berkeley High School, Berkeley
SF Jazz, San Francisco
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo
Cal State Northridge, Northridge
Stanley Middle School, Lafayette
Rio Americano High School, Sacramento
Westlake High School, Westlake Village
Miracosta College, Oceanside
Sinaloa Middle School, Novato
Contra Costa College, San Pablo
Cal State Sacramento, Sacramento
Corte Madera School, Portola Valley
Valencia High School, Valencia
Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut
Fullerton College, Fullerton
University Of Southern California, Los Angeles
Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton
Nova Independent School, Novato

By | June 1st, 2015|Categories: Kudos, News|0 Comments

2016 CASMEC Call for Proposals

Clinic and performance applications for the 2016 California All-State Music Education Conference are now available on the new CASMEC website!  The California All-State Music Education Conference will be held February 11-14, 2016 in San Jose, CA.  If you are interested in applying to present a clinic or if you are interested in submitting an application/audition for your ensemble to perform at the 2016 conference, please go to

The deadline for submitting applications is May 23, 2015.

We are looking forward to another great California All-State Music Education Conference in our new location.  We hope to see you there!


By | May 3rd, 2015|Categories: CASMEC 2016, News|0 Comments

New CAJ Blog!

CAJ has a new blog page! We will post relevant information, resources, and advocacy issues pertaining to CAJ to this blog. Check back frequently to stay in the loop!

By | April 14th, 2015|Categories: News|0 Comments