Cranbrook’s long established relationship with the performing arts plus the beautiful and historic Cranbrook campus provide ample creative energy to a variety of unique summer musical programming. World-class musicians from a broad range of disciplines are brought to Cranbrook campus to provide intensive, hands-on instruction to talented young musicians. Small group and class sizes emphasize personal attention and maximize opportunities for the development of each student’s skills.
This widely acclaimed music program offers students an opportunity to study their instruments in small groups with outstanding professional jazz musicians. This program has been highly successful in providing students with opportunities to explore the art of improvisation on their instruments as well as providing exposure to jazz band literature.
Summer Jazz Ensemble is open to all students who play "Big Band" instruments: alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, trumpet, trombone, lead and bass guitars, piano/synthesizer and drum set. Nationally recognized jazz artists and educators are available to work with the students in this ensemble. Enrollment in certain sections will be limited to a first-come first-served basis.
Ideally, students should have at least two years of experience in a band program. However, considerations can be made. Please contact us to discuss.
Sarkis Halajian - Mr. Halajian is also Coordinator of Performing Arts for Cranbrook Schools. Mr. Halajian joined Cranbrook Schools in 1975 and has taken Cranbrook Kingswood School's Jazz Band on tour to England and Switzerland. Mr. Halajian graduated with distinction in performance from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. While at Cranbrook, Halajian has received the President's Award for Excellence, the Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Alumni Appreciation Award.
John Hill- John Hill has been teaching music in Michigan public schools for over 20 years and is currently in his second year of teaching at Oxford High School. Mr. Hill has been an adjunct faculty member at Mott Community College and is currently the director of the Mott Community College Jazz Ensemble. He was also an adjunct percussion teacher at the University of Michigan-Flint for seven years. Mr. Hill is a very active jazz clinician and jazz/classical percussionist. He performs regularly with several orchestras and jazz groups, including the Flint Symphony Orchestra, Saginaw Bay Symphony, Bijou Orchestra, Lansing Symphony Big Band, New Reformation Big Band and many other jazz and society bands across the state of Michigan.
Dan Kolton - Dan Kolton, double bassist, began making his impact on Detroit-area Jazz at the age of 18. His extraordinary talent was quickly recognized by veteran musicians and he has been in heavy demand ever since. Dan has also worked with jazz musicians in San Francisco, Santa Fe, New York, Boston, and throughout North America with internationally renowned jazz master such as Joe Henderson, Pepper Adams, Charles McPherson, Hank Jones, Buddy Tate, “Sweets” Edison, Sonny Stitt and Mose Allison. Dan toured Europe and Australia with the Mercer Ellington Band and has also done European tours with Peter Tuscher of Munich and Lee Harper of Saltzberg. His expressiveness and creativity have made him a much-sought-after composer and arranger for television, film, and commercials as well as for jazz and dance.
Pete Siers- Siers has played with jazz luminaries such as Russell Malone, Mulgrew Miller, Marian McPartland, Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, James Moody, Kenny Werner, David Newman, Scott Hamilton, and many others. In addition to having played on over 50 recordings, Siers played Carnegie Hall, toured Europe several times, and continues to perform orchestral pops shows with trumpeter Marcus Belgrave's Louis Armstrong Tribute and Dave Bennett's Salute to Benny Goodman. Pete has taught percussion and jazz drumming for over 25 years privately and at Emory University, the University of Michigan and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp to name a few.
Tad Weed - Tad Weed holds a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies. He has performed as Pianist/Musical Director for Carmen McRae, Anita O’Day, Paul Anka and Jack Jones and also recorded with various artists such as Chaka Khan, John Clayton, Wycliffe Gordon, Betty Carter, Dick Berk, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Morgan and David Fathead Newman. Tad is currently Professor of Jazz Studies and Jazz Piano at University of Toledo. He continues to conduct a local Jazz Series and clinics in jazz composition as well as perform, write and record for his groups The Freedom Ensemble, The Dobbins, Krahnke, Weed Trio, while touring nationally with the Dave Bennett Sextet.
James Steve Wood - Saxophonist/flutist Steve Wood has been performing in the Detroit area for more than four decades and is considered one of the region’s leading players and teachers. After studying with Marvin “Doc” Holladay at Oakland University and Marcus Belgrave in the Jazz Development Workshop, Steve began performing and recording with Detroit’s top jazz artists including Paul Keller, Johnny Trudell, and Ed Nuccilli. He has released two CDs of his own, Unanswerable Questions (Alembic Records) and Deep Woods (Corridor Records) and toured Europe twice with the Paul Keller Orchestra. In 1990 he won the Hennessy Cognac Jazz Search and in 1991 and 1992 was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship to study with George Coleman in New York City. He is currently teaching at Cranbrook Academy and Michigan State University Community Music School in Detroit.
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Cranbrook Educational Community admits students and makes its services, activities, and education programs available to students without regard to sex, race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, or any other protected status as required by state or federal law.