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Berkeley's Jazzschool elevated to California Jazz Conservatory

Congratulations to the institution formerly known as Jazzschool. The Berkely training ground for world-class jazz talent recently received full accreditation from the National Associations of Schools of Music, putting its degree programs on a par with the nation's top music schools but in a league of its own due to its focus on jazz.

Lavay Smith
Lavay Smith

The new status is reflected in a new name -- the California Jazz Conservatory. Community programs will still run under the Jazzschool moniker, and the organization will continue to present concerts featuring top local and international talent, including an International Women's Day celebration this Saturday (8 p.m., tickets $12-$15) featuring pianist Susan Muscarella and sax explorer Madeline Duran.

Also worth noting on the Bay Area jazz calendar this week:

  • Local sax marvel Anton Schwartz rounds up some high-level pals, including pianist Taylor Eigsti and bassist John Shifflett, to celebrate the release of his cracking new CD, "Flash Mob," 8 p.m. Tuesday at Yoshi's Oakland. $20
  • Piano prodigy Taylor Eigsti, one of the grandest keyboard talents to emerge from the Bay Area in several decades, plays a fundraiser for the Community Health Awareness Council, 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. $63-$103
  • Michelle Coltrane, only daughter of you-know-who, reveals herself to be a more than capable singer of standards and more, 8 p.m. Thursday at Yoshi's Oakland. $25
  • Singer Lavay Smith, whose name has become synonymous with "jumping good time" hereabouts, concentrates on her biggest influences with consecutive-night tributes to Bessie Smith (7 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday), Billie Holiday (7 and 8:30 p.m. Friday), Etta James (7 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday) and Sarah Vaughan (5 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday) at SFJAZZ Center. $30
  • Bay Area mavericks John Santos (percussion), Mads Tolling (violin) and Dan Zemelman (piano) team up for a 9:30 p.m. Saturday show at Duende in Oakland. $15
  • Pianist Kris Bowers, a rising star who blends rock-solid jazz instincts with contemporary cred strong enough to have him kicking it with Jay-Z and Kanye West, performs with his quintet and opening act the Myele Manzana Trio, 7 p.m. Sunday at Yoshi's San Francisco. $17-$19

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