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Piano Workshop with Josh.

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SB East studio would like to put the spotlight on our volunteer, Josh. Josh gave some pretty fun and educational piano workshops this past week and we are truly impressed and thankful. 

Josh put together a group of four members to learn the basic fundamentals of piano and learn the melody for “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” He did a great job encouraging the kids to be polite and respectful towards each other. The kids were fantastic, they took turns, were patient, and were very supportive of each other during the whole process. After the first 20 minutes, the kids memorized the pitches on the piano and of the notes they were playing for the melody. Their determination to play to melody correctly grew as they began to feel the music and develop a better understanding of the language of music. It was very nice to see how Josh challenged our youth in a fun and productive way. By the end of the workshop, the kids told Josh they were going to come back to practice the song until they got it right. That’s the sort of enthusiasm we like to see from our members and we would like to thank Josh for continuing to work with out youth and inspiring them to express themselves through music.  


Please enjoy the pictures.

A Night with Arturo Sandoval.

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Our final field trip of 2017 was amazing. In early December, we took our members to see Arturo Sandoval at the Lobero Theatre. It was a great way to close out a productive and fun year.

Our members arrived to the theatre excited and ready for an epic show. As we entered the venue each member promptly found their seats and waited in suspense for the legendary trumpet player. The lights finally dimmed and Lobero’s Executive Director, David Asbell, introduced the band and the music began. The band was incredible and Sandoval was absolutely breathtaking. The kids were awestruck by the way Sandoval could play notes that you could generally and only hear from a piano. His overall playing and phrasing was also boundless. It seemed like there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do on his trumpet.

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We did not know that Sandoval was also a multi-instrumentalist. Throughout the performance Sandoval played piano, timbales, synths, and sang. The caliber of musicianship on each instrument was consistently stellar. It was just one eye opening moment after the next. Eventually Sandoval’s thrilling performance came to an end but the night did not finish there. After the show our Notes For Notes group was escorted to Sandoval’s green room where our members were given the opportunity to meet him. This was truly a magical moment. The kids got to shake his hand, get his autograph, and thank him for an amazing show. There were smiles everywhere in that green room and they continued for the rest of the night.

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Santa Barbara Notes For Notes East Studio would like to thank Arturo Sandoval for a spectacular night. We’d also like to thank David Asbell, Marianne Clark, and everyone at Lobero Theatre for giving our members the opportunity to explore, learn, and be inspired. With Gratitude, Notes For Notes SB East Studio.

Please enjoy the wonderful pictures.

Happy Holidays From Seku & N4N S.B. East Studio.

Everyone here at the N4N Santa Barbara East Studio would like to wish you a Happy Holiday and Happy New Year! It’s been an amazing year for us and we hope you had a great year too.

We would like to share this incredible performance of this holiday winter classic, White Christmas. This is was arranged by one of  jazz greats Joe Pass and performed by a magnificent young musician, Seku Fujino-Harmachis. This 13 year old guitarist has put a lot of work into this piece and we are so proud of him for making it to the finish line. 

We hope you enjoy Seku’s performance as much as we do. Thank you everyone for your constant support. With Love and Gratitude – Happy Holidays!

Jazz Villains Release Debut In-Studio Music Video

What a year it has been for the Jazz Villains.

Performing around 20 shows in almost every setting you can think of……. On the Pier, On the radio, in the rain, swanky tuxedo parties, school assemblies, State Street, Jazz Festival, Earthday Festival, restaurants and so on.

But that wasn’t enough. It was time to record an original song.

Until now, the JV’s have, in a sense, kept themselves on a strict diet of learning from the legends of Jazz. Now that they’ve spent almost 2 years marinating in the standards, they’re ready to record an original composition written by Program Director, David Rojas.

We thought that our supporters would appreciate the chance to look through the window, at the actual recording session of their first live music video titled, “Baby Yes, You Treat Me Right.” The song is an original composition with positive lyrics, groovy solos, and the music makes you want start swing dancing like no tomorrow.

The video features the youth sextet’s debut single “Baby, Yes, You Treat Me Right” with in-studio footage of the entire band performing at the Eastside Notes For Notes studio.

“Baby, Yes, You Treat Me Right” will also be the opening track to the Villains’ forthcoming EP produced by program director David Rojas.

Written, Produced and Mixed by David Rojas
Filmed by Bre Wright and Kris Ehrman
Edited by Wright.

Jazz Villains’ Trumpet Player Wins 2nd Place In SBHS Reflections Contest

High School Senior, Sergio Rodriguez, wins 2nd place for his music composition “Miss Summer” in Santa Barbara High School’s Reflections Art Contest.

Rodriguez, 17, is known for his role in the local Notes For Notes band called the Jazz Villains along with performing in the SBHS and City College jazz combos.

Santa Barbara High School and their PTA sponsors hold this contest every year for their students to get recognized for their original compositions, creations and projects.“Within Reach” was the theme for this year’s Reflections contest and the first and second place winners go on to the PTA Council Level Reflections Art Contest.

Rodriguez’s high school music director, Kearney VanderSal, suggested the idea of him submitting a song under the Music Composition category earlier this year. The categories in the contest include literature, photography, film production, dance choreography and visual art.

“I wrote the song in October,” Rodriguez said. “I just found a melody that I liked and continued to write it.”

Rodriguez recorded “Miss Summer” at the Eastside Notes For Notes studio with program director David Rojas. Rojas helped Rodriguez with his approach to composition and melody along with providing a backing track that Rojas performed and recorded. After the backing track was done Sergio gave an impeccable performance that embellished his melody and truly represented his love for music and passion for self expression. After some fun and challenging work the song was completed and submitted to the competition.

“It’s a groovy song,” Rodriguez said. “I was originally thinking to compose something very complex but then decided to create a piece that was more easy listening but still had a sophisticated sound.”

Please enjoy this wonderful composition by Sergio Rodriguez.



Notes For Notes Fundraiser At Seven Bar

On Thursday, November 9th, the Notes For Notes studios of Santa Barbara hosted a fundraiser and showcase at the the Seven Bar downtown.

The turnout for the event was successful and all of our supporters were treated with live performances by both our youth jazz sextet, Jazz Villains and the local blues quartet, Rent Party Blues Band.

Program director David Rojas has been working very diligently with the Villains over the last year and a half perfecting their sound and musicianship.

During Rent Party’s set, the Jazz Villains guitarist Seku hoped on stage to perform and trade guitar solos with David and Kris. It was a truly special and engaging moment for the audience to watch the youth musician performing alongside his mentors.

The Notes For Notes is very grateful for the owners of Seven Bar for hosting the fundraiser and for the local friends and family members who attended the show and made donations supporting the organization.

Don’t miss out on the Eastside studio’s first annual Winter recital happening next month on Thursday, December 7th at 5:30 p.m. The showcase will be including holiday classics performed by some of the Eastside Notes For Notes studio’s most talented youth musicians of the year.

Photos above were taken by Maxton Schulte and Alex Kies. Official poster included below was designed by Bre Wright:

Notes For Notes’ Announces First Annual Winter Recital


Join us for Notes For Notes’ first annual Winter recital Thursday, December 7th at 5:30 p.m. at the Eastside Boys & Girls Club in downtown Santa Barbara.

The showcase will be highlighting some of the Eastside Notes For Notes studio’s most talented youth musicians of the year.

For the last 2 months, numerous Boys & Girls Club students have studying musicianship and theory with the studio’s program director, David Rojas.The evening’s music will feature notable holiday classics by composers Irving Berlin, Thad Jones, Bob Wells, Mel Tormé and José Feliciano.

Beverages and snacks will be also provided at the showcase.



Photo Shoot With The Jazz Villains!

The members of the Jazz Villains had their first official photoshoot last Sunday with program director David Rojas and photographer Maxton Schulte.

The whole team drove around to unique locations in the Funk Zone and up the Riviera to one of Santa Barbara’s most prestigious houses known as Franceschi Park, which has a stunning view of the entire town.

Earlier last month Bre Wright, the program instructor and creative administrator, taught the band how to operate their social media pages and how to write emails to local venues in order to book shows. This photo shoot was intended for the Jazz Villains’ new website and official EPK.

Be sure to catch the Jazz Villains and Rent Party Blues Band tomorrow evening from 7pm-11pm @ Seven Bar in downtown Santa Barbara for the Notes For Notes fundraiser. Mark your calendar, it’s going to be fantastic evening of live music and beverages!

Check out the photo gallery down below. All photographs taken by Maxton and David.

Meet Lauren

Meet Lauren, 11

Lauren is one of our youth members at the Eastside studio who has grown to love learning the guitar and basic music theory.

After being a member of the Boys & Girls Club when she younger, her mother introduced her to Notes For Notes earlier this year. She is really passionate as a basketball player but wants to continue learning the guitar and to eventually learn the drums as well.

“I like having another skill like the guitar,” Lauren said. “The guitar is powerful — not as powerful as the drums but it makes me feel really good when I play it.”

Christian radio stations like 103.3 and 97.5 are two of Lauren’s personal favorites. The song ‘Young, Dumb & Broke’ by Khalid and “Life Is Short” by Switchfoot being her current jams.

“I get inspired when Switchfoot plays because they use a lot of guitars,” Lauren said.

For the last 7 months, Lauren has been getting guitar lessons from program director David Rojas and has hardly wavered in her attendance.

“She always comes to her lessons with an open mind, an eagerness to learn and a great attitude,” David said.

Later this December, Lauren’s first ever performance will be held at the Eastside Boys & Girls Club for Notes For Notes’ holiday showcase. She will be performing the classic “Feliz Navidad” alongside our other talented youth musicians.

We are truly fortunate to have such a positive and persevering student like Lauren. Stay tuned for our next youth member spotlight!

Meet Lorenzo

Meet Lorenzo, 9

Lorenzo is one of our youth members at the Eastside studio and has shown a strong passion toward the drums. His grandmother introduced him to Notes For Notes two years ago where he began drum lessons with Program Director, David Rojas. Since then, he has been at our studio every week jamming on the drums.

His gravitation toward the drums is solely founded by the loudness. When describing his experience playing the drums, the “action and exercise” is what appeals to him the most.

Despite his disinterest in performing live when he grows up, he has plans to learn how to play the electric guitar and the harmonica as well.

“I like the Notes For Notes because it’s famous and the studio has a lot of instruments,” he said. “I also like DJ-ing for fun on my electronic piano at home.”

The alternative rock band, Imagine Dragons and the electronic producer, Deadmau5 are his current favorites that he listens to. “I love listening to their music while I am doing my homework,” he said.

We are very grateful to have talented students like Lorenzo at our studio! We look forward to watching his progression as a young musician develop here at Notes For Notes.

Stay tuned for our next youth member feature!