|Savannah Arts Academy Jazz Ensemble
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Web site: http://www.savannah.chatham.k12.ga.us/Schools/High+Schools/Savannah+Arts+Academy/
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The Savannah Arts Academy's
Skyelite Jazz Band has been
delighting audiences around the area
for many years. Michael Hutchinson
and Dr. John Bradley formed the
Skyelite Jazz Band (formally known
as BlueLight Jazz Band) in August of
1992 with the dream of becoming a
renowned jazz organization of quality
and respect. The SkyeLite Jazz
Band (SJB) has traveled extensively
throughout the southeast to such
places as Jackson, Mississippi, Montgomery, Alabama, Chattanooga, Tennessee,
Orangeburg, South Carolina, Hampton Virginia, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Florida,
New Orleans Louisiana, London, England, Bolixi, Mississippi, Atlanta, and most
recently, San Francisco. SJB has also performed all over the globe, including China,
London, Washington D.C., and much more. SkyeLite Jazz Band has performed with jazz
greats Donald Byrd, Ravi Coltrane, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, Benny Goldson, Marcus
Roberts, as well as others.
Being a member of the band takes a big commitment from the students and their parents.
The band performs some 30 times a year and they practice nearly every chance they get.
Students have to have an A-B average just to enroll at Savannah Arts Academy.
Hutchinson said it takes determination and a desire to play jazz to be a part of the school's
SkyeLite Jazz Band.
The SAA faculty is a highly trained group of professional musicians still active as
performers, clinicians and adjudicators. The program through the years has garnered
every award available to it through the Georgia Music Educators Association. Students
who graduate from the program, electing to pursue music in higher education, have been
awarded scholarships to the leading institutions in the country including Indiana
University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. The jazz band is also a point of pride.
SJB is currently directed by Mr. Michael Hutchinson.
Many of SJB students make All-State Jazz Band or Concert Band during their tenure at
Savannah Arts Academy.