Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter
Quick Links!

CAJ Website

Vice President Matt Harris

Past President
President Elect/
Higher Ed Rep

Jeff Jarvis
Craig Bryant
Treasurer/Membership Barb Catlin
ACDA Rep Christine Guter
Vocal Rep Christine Tavares-Mocha
 Mike Galisatus
Jeff Tower
High School Rep Curtis Gaesser
Middle School Rep 
Justin Padilla
Quick Links!

Jazz Educator's Network

Elementary Rep Coralie Prince
Industry Rep Matt Johnson
Newsletter Editor/
  Sarah Owen
Ed Wolfe 
Board Member
California Alliance for Jazz
Spring Newsletter
Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image

2015 CAJ Championships


Please help spread the word and enroll your groups for our 4th Annual CAJ Championships! This is a virtual, on-line festival where you send in a video of your bands to be evaluated by some of the very best adjudicators in our state.  The video format has proven successful, with a distinct advantage over live festivals because the judge can stop the play at anytime to give additional comments and suggestions without missing any of your performance in the process. And, no more weekends or travel expenses involved!


We have changed the submission guidelines this year ... you can record your group anywhere; it does not have to be at a concert or festival! The only stipulation is that it's an honest, live video recording with no touch-ups or over-dubs.


The application deadline is April 15th, and the last day for video submissions is May 1st. Visit our website at to sign up!


Chris Stevens

Past President

Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image

Click here to register for the CAJ Championships!

Advertise in the CAJ Email Newsletter! 

The CAJ Email Newsletter is sent out quarterly:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer. 

Deadlines for ads:  
Sept. 1st: Fall, Dec. 1st: Winter, March 15th: Spring, May 15th: Summer

Business Card Size (Approx. this block size): $50        
Full Page: $100 
Exclusive email with your ad only!:$150  (You select date)
  Contact Sarah Owen for more info


Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image
TIP: Servers (Google) often trim our newsletter. Look for the 3 dots and click to enlarge content!
Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image

Why Social Media is Good for Your Program


Hi there CAJazzers! I have recently taken over the roll of "Social Media Coordinator" for CAJ. I am a millennial that pretty much grew up with a cell phone attached to my hand and the internet at my fingertips. While social media may come naturally to us millenials that have a 20-second attention span for nothing but 140-character rants on Twitter and photos of what we ate for breakfast on Instagram, sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus may not be as intuitive for the technologically impaired.


So why use social media in your program?


Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have to promote your program. There is a reason Fortune 500 companies have entire divisions of their marketing department devoted to social media. Social media can reach thousands of people that want to see what you are doing. If you teach college, social media campaigns for your programs can be a powerful recruiting tool (all of the students you are recruiting these days are social media addicts- might as well get their attention!). Do you teach middle school or high school? Social media is a great way to keep your students and parents up to date on current events. I also find they take a lot of pride in knowing they are part of your online presence- they like to show their friends, parents, grandmas, siblings, etc., that they are a part of this super cool online community.


Worried about interacting with your students online? You should be! There is a lot of content on social media you probably never want to see. BUT, that doesn't mean you should not use it. I am a big fan of teaching digital citizenship- no matter how old the student. I am not going to go into it in this article, but there are many resources online to help with this. Check out for some great resources on how to interact with students online.


So how do you get set up on social media? What are the best things to post? 


If you are savvy with social media yourself, set up a Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page for your program. Post what you are doing (concerts, auditions, photos of your students doing cool things, etc.). Connect and follow organizations, musicians, and educators that interest you. Social media grows exponentially- it may be slow at first, but the more people you follow, the more people you have the potential to come in contact with. YOU DON'T HAVE TO FOLLOW YOUR STUDENTS (I don't- I only follow fellow professionals. I prefer to maintain the boundary between student and teacher online as well as in the classroom).


If you are not comfortable setting up these accounts online (or you don't have the time...), just try setting up one at a time until you are comfortable with it OR have a parent or a trustworthy student do it for you! There are already many people in your program that are comfortable with social media- put them to use! The only thing I would suggest is that you closely monitor what they are posting. You do not want them misrepresenting what you are about.


While you are at it, follow CAJ on social media! You can find us here:






Questions? Feel free to contact me anytime! I am also on Twitter (@mrsowenmusic) and maintain social media for my band program (Instagram: @ramonaband).  


Sarah Owen

Social Media Coordinator/Newsletter Editor

Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image

Sonoma State University Music:

Dr. Doug Leibinger, Director of Jazz Studies /

Dr. Brian Wilson, Music Department Chair /

Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image

CASMEC Recap and More!


CAJ had a large presence at the CASMEC conference in Fresno during February. Once again, I was able to enjoy the company of former colleagues, former students, friends and new acquaintances during the well presented conference. It was a joy to listen, attend, learn and to work the CAJ booth. The board members for CAJ are a talented bunch and are totally dedicated to the advancement of jazz education here in California. There were presentations hosted by our board members. Some of our board were involved in presentations as well as directing honor groups. Working the CAJ booth offered me the opportunity to meet and talk to "budding" jazz educators as well as "seasoned" veterans. We were able to talk to folks about our "Jazz Championships" festival. Hopefully we will pick up new members as a result of networking with these exciting educators. Highlights for me at the CASMEC conference are listed below:


CASMEC Band Session: Canadian Brass Demonstration


Featured Concert: UCLA Wind Ensemble (Dr. Travis Cross, conductor) and The Canadian Brass


Jazz Session: Jazz Band Rehearsal Techniques for New Teachers (John Maltester)


Jazz Session: Top Ten Secrets for Better Jazz Solos (Mike Dana)


CAJ General Session and Hall of Fame Award Winners Social (Saroyan Lobby Lounge)


All-State Jazz Concert (Saroyan Theater):

Jennifer Barnes, All-State Jazz Choir

Craig Bryant, All-State Jr. High Jazz Band

John Daversa, All-State High School Jazz Band


March and April are important months for music education and jazz appreciation. March is NAfME's "Music In our Schools Month" and hopefully there will be many opportunities to enhance the musical ensembles and music courses in classrooms throughout the country. My contributions will consist of clinics at local secondary schools. My SDJW Big Band will also be presenting "salt and pepper" sessions with middle school and high school jazz ensembles on their jazz sets.


Hopefully many of you will find ways to support music education in March and jazz education in April. Don't forget to learn about the CAJ "Championships" and consider entering your middle school, junior high school, high school, junior college, four-year college and community jazz instrumental and vocal ensembles. It is an experience that you and your musicians will enjoy and learn from. Find out about CAJ and its resources at


Ed Wolfe

Board Member

Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image
Encourage your friends to join CAJ!
Support jazz education in California!

Membership is offered on a variety of levels:

Regular: $50
Retired: $25
Student: $15
Patron: $100

For membership forms/Paypal/Credit card:
For membership questions:
 Contact Barb Catlin


Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image