KMS Jazz Ensemble performing during the 7pm show

Located in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, El Cerrito High School holds a proud history of musical excellence and award-winning ensembles. The band program at ECHS offers students the opportunity to develop their skills and passion for music through a variety of experiences that include performances, clinics, festivals, and travel opportunities. The program is comprised of three concert bands; the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band as well as three jazz bands; the Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Workshop, and Jazz Lab. In addition to our classes the program also offers several extra-curricular ensemble opportunities that include the Gaucho Band and Jazz Combos.

The El Cerrito Jazz Ensemble has been recognized as one of California’s top high school jazz bands and has performed in venues throughout the United States and abroad. Led by El Cerrito alumnus, Keith Johnson, the El Cerrito Jazz Ensemble has earned top ratings and first place awards at numerous jazz festivals across the west coast and have been finalists regular finalists at Monterey’s Next Generation Jazz Festival. Over the past 10 years the group has hosted and performed alongside prominent jazz artists that include Chris Potter, Wycliffe Gordon, Alan Ferber, John Daversa, Donny McCaslin, Eric Harland, and Terell Stafford, among others. Notable performances include appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz á Vienne, and Umbria Jazz Festival. The El Cerrito Jazz Ensemble has twice been selected as featured performers for both the CMEA Bay Section Winter Conference (2020 and 2024) and California All-State Music Education Conference (2014 and 2024).