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San Marcos High School Jazz Ensemble Announces a One-Night-Only Reprise of Award-Winning April Performance in Chicago’s Heritage Festival at the Lobero

May 29 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PDT

Final Show Benefits the Royal’s Instrumental Music Program Amidst Drastic Budget Cuts to the Arts Districtwide

San Marcos High School Band Jazz Ensemble is pleased to announce a very special one-night-only local performance of their recent award-winning show from Chicago’s Heritage Festival in April. This fundraising event will help to cover outstanding costs of the trip and takes place on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:00pm at the venerable Lobero Theater, 33 East Canon Perdido Street in Santa Barbara. The San Marcos Jazz Ensemble is composed of 26 students between grades 9 and 12, many of whom only started playing their instruments or were first exposed to the genre at San Marcos! The high school has a rich history of making amazing music and this year was particularly poignant given the back story of this trip. In 2017, seven years ago, SMHS Instrumental Music Director Michael Kiyoi and the group started planning for a trip to Chicago for March of 2020. Then the pandemic hit, and all performances were of course cancelled. It has taken this long to get these plans back in place.

“With Covid it broke my heart to cancel the Chicago trip and the dream seemed dead and lost,” said Mr. Kiyoi. That dream was revived this year. “We travel a lot with the Band, but only in Southern California and haven’t been out of the state since 2012. And it just so happens that we have one of the best Jazz Bands we’ve ever had in San Marcos history,” he concluded.

San Marcos won the Dos Pueblos High School Jazz Festival for the first time in over 10 years, competing against haughty Los Angeles schools each with multiple ensembles. Having won the DP Jazz Festival, they took the Jazz Ensemble to Chicago! This was the first time SMHS has performed in the “windy city” and it could not have gone better. San Marcos received a GOLD rating and took First Place. They also brought home several prestigious prizes including the Spirit Award – only one group who best represents the values of the company wins and the Adjudicator Award – the group must score above 92 and only SMHS and one other group received that score. In addition, several SM musicians received individual recognition with the Ovation Award honoring senior Joshlin Santos (trumpet) – every school nominates a student but only one wins, and Soloist Awards were given to seniors Eliel Pozos (saxophone) and Lucas Carrara (trombone) – only three awards in total are handed out, and San Marcos received two of them. And to top it off, the San Marcos Jazz Ensemble scored an average of over 97, including a perfect 100 from one judge which is exceedingly rare.

“Our students crushed it – they absolutely crushed it!” exclaimed Mr. Kiyoi. “Their performance was incredible, and it brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad that we were able to partner with the Lobero so that our local community can experience this remarkable performance.”

Tickets are available online, at the Lobero box office, or by calling 805-963-0761. This performance is reserved seating and tickets cost $20.00 each with $16 of each ticket purchase (after expenses) to benefit San Marcos High School Instrumental Music Program, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Proceeds from this event will help to cover the budget deficit from this trip and hopefully allow for more of them in the future. Additional donations can be made using the QR code below.

Please post widely and contact Joni Kelly via cell at 805-886-1869 or via email at jonikellycomm@gmail.com to arrange interviews with Michael Kiyoi or the student musicians, request high-resolution photos and broadcast quality B-roll, or to find out how you can support the San Marcos High School Instrumental Music Program. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for working media.


Lobero Theatre
33 E. Canon Perdido Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101 United States
+ Google Map


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