Jazz 1 is an official performing group of the 2018 Midwest Clinic.

Jazz at Douglas Anderson

The jazz program within the band area at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts has had a storied legacy since its inception in 1984. Celebrating “America’s music” to its fullest extent, two jazz ensembles serve as the primary performing groups. With a scope of study that represents the last one hundred years of the evolution of jazz, repertoire includes the music of Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Stan Kenton through more recent big band contemporaries like Maria Schneider, Dave Holland, Roy Hargrove, and Christian McBride. Ensemble precision, stylistic integrity, and improvisational concepts are the focal points of instruction.

The flagship of the Douglas Anderson jazz program is Jazz Ensemble 1. Long recognized as one of the leading high school jazz bands in the country, JE 1 has had the honor of performing at many esteemed venues and events. These include the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago, prestigious jazz festivals in Europe, and Essentially Ellington competitions in New York City where the band was named the winner in 2006. The band’s Essentially Ellington win was chronicled in the award winning film documentary “CHOPS”, which has served as an inspiration for many band programs across the nation.

In 2016, Don Zentz assumed the reigns of JE 1 from founding director Ace Martin. Under Zentz’s direction, the band most recently performed at the 2017 Jazz Educators Network (JEN) conference in New Orleans, won the 2017 national Swing Central jazz band competition in Savannah, and was recognized by DownBeat Magazine as one of the top three high school jazz bands in the country. Receiving superior ratings at music performance assessments continues to be a mainstay for both Douglas Anderson jazz ensembles.