Originally born in New Orleans, jazz is one of the few great genres of music created in America. Jazz bands like the one at Hernando, sometimes called Big Bands, were created in the early 1910s to provide music for dancing around the country. The traditional instrumentation of the Big Band includes alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, tenor and bass trombones, trumpets, and a rhythm section, made up of piano, drum set, guitar, and bass guitar. However, on many occasions, other instruments, such as the clarinet, are added to the traditional instruments to change the sound of the group.
The Hernando Jazz band was founded in the spring of 2016 by Mr. Jones. At that time, the jazz program consisted of a middle school jazz band and a high school jazz band. In the spring of 2018, the two groups were altered slightly to form Jazz Band A and Jazz Band B. Jazz Band A became an audition-only group comprised of the top high school players, and Jazz Band B became open to any players in grades 8-12, plus 7th graders based on instrumentation needs. That spring, Jazz Band A began attending the Tallahatchie River Jazz Festival in New Albany, Mississippi. Since that time, the group has received Division I ratings in each year of attendance as well as two special awards from the festival. In 2018, the band earned the award for best overall woodwind section, and in 2019, guitarist, Cody Yoder, received the award for best soloist.
Each year, Mr. Jones gives the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award to the student who best represents the goals and spirit of the Hernando Jazz Band. Past winners can be found on the "Special Awards" page under the "About" tab.
2018 Jazz Band A members participate in a clinic with Dr. Wade Irvin at the Tallahatchie River Festival