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About The Ocean County College Jazz Band

Membership in the OCC Jazz Band is far more than a class.

It is a performing and recording ensemble, and it is a life impacting experience. Jazz Band members find themselves in an environment where they are contributing and blending musical ideas with others, all with the common goal of becoming an admirable performing and recording ensemble. Jazz Band members are given much latitude in that they are encouraged to be creative, experiment, contribute and blend their ideas to the group, contribute original music to the band’s repertoire, and pursue their own ‘musical voice’. This is done in a context in which commitment, loyalty, and sound people skills are essential to individual and group success. These skills are invaluable work place skills that can be adapted to other fields of study and vocations.

The OCC Jazz Band performs regularly on and off campus in such venues as:

  • The Grunin Arts Center as the warm-up band to professional jazz bands as well as the feature musical ensemble.The Jazz Band recorded a CD on Friday, May 19, 2017 and its first DVD with OCC student dancers on May 12, 2018.
  • The Gateway Building Lecture Hall as the house band for OCC Has Talent.
  • The Ocean County Library Mancini Hall for Spring concerts.
  • The Toms River Elks Club for community events such as the Annual Tree Lighting and the N.J. State Salsa and Chili Cookoff in downtown Toms River.
  • The Toms River Jazz ClubOne Flight Up.
  • In the OCC TV-20 Studio the Jazz Band has recorded a CD.
  • The Historic Strand Theatre in Lakewood, N.J., at the 3 Sails Jazz festival.
  • 1867 Sanctuary Center for Arts and Culture

Articles about the OCC Jazz Band have been published in OCC publications: Ocean Views, The Viking, as well as the Jersey Jazz Journal which is the official publication of the New Jersey Jazz Society. The Spring 2014 OCC Jazz Band performed and recorded a musical theme used in the TV show Currents.

The OCC Jazz Band members have received instruction in jazz master classes given by internationally known jazzartists such as saxophonist-Branford Marsallis, iconic drummer-Bernard Purdie, Sony recording artist, trumpeter and vocalist-Bria Skonberg, Chris Siebert-musical director for Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, former New York Yankee center fielder-now jazz guitarist-Bernie Williams, Grammy nominated jazz vocalist-Rene Marie, and jazz recording artists baritone saxophonist/flautista-Denis DeBlasio, and guitarist, Brian Betz.

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