The Jazz Project Big Band is directed by retired music teacher Michael Smith, who has taught at San Diego State University, the SD School for Creative and Performing Arts, and city schools in Mission Bay and La Jolla. The ensemble was created to serve jazz players in reading and performing standard and original big band arrangements by national and local writers and arrangers.
“The Jazz Project is designed to allow soloists to explore and read some of the great big band literature available,” says Smith. “Original arrangements of local writers and arrangers are also performed.” The group includeslead trumpet player Marty Conley, formerly of the U.S. Navy School of Music, who writes and arranges original compositions for the band. Featured soloists include Bruce Cameron, Mike Carnahan, John Hurst, David Castel de Oro, Tim Jameson, Mark Hammond, and others.