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On The Corner Masthead

SFJAZZ education at skywalker sound

May 9, 2019 | by Erin Putnam

HSAS Skywalker Recording

This spring, the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars are spending several sessions at California’s crown jewel of sound engineering studios, Skywalker Sound, to record their annual double album. This yearly project involves three days in the studio, and is an amazing professional experience for SFJAZZ’s youth ensemble players; this season, however, marks the All-Stars’ first chance to be guests at one of the top recording facilities in the world.

HSAS Skywalker Recording

Known primarily for film (both scoring and effects), Skywalker has an incredible 65+ Academy Award nominations to its name. The cavernous studio where the All-Stars Big Band recently recorded nine tracks features a cinema-size screen for displaying films during the recording and editing process. Many albums come to fruition in these studios as well, including past SFJAZZ Collective albums.

HSAS Skywalker Recording

Baritone saxophonist Taijee Shavers, a senior at Oakland School for the Arts, has had the chance to make several in-studio recordings with jazz ensembles. "Recording at Skywalker was one of the best sessions I've ever had. The views are amazing and there's a lot to learn about the recording studio." Trumpeter and Berkeley High senior Max Nierlich agreed, “it was a thrill and a great learning experience to record in such a amazing studio!”

HSAS Skywalker Recording

You don’t have to wait until the album releases this summer to hear the goods, though – the All-Stars will be closing out their season this Sunday with a concert in SFJAZZ’s Miner Auditorium. Come hear the sambas they honed in Brazil, the SFJAZZ Collective arrangements they’ve reimagined, and the 2019 Hut Foundation Alumni Commission premiere, “Bloom,” penned for the All-Stars Big Band by 2003 alumnus Nick DePinna. We hope to see you there!