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Issues & Ideas: Cuesta College's acclaimed jazz program

Ron McCarley
Award-winning Cuesta musicians, left to right, IATA band members Adam Nash, Tyler Dukes and Ian Skinner (not pictured: Alex Nash).

Cuesta Community College, with campuses in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles, boasts an award-winning jazz program. Some of the college’s student-musicians play in small combos, and a Cuesta quartet recording was recently named best in the nation.

The award is from the publication Downbeat, as part of Downbeat's 41st annual student music awards. KCBX News invited members of the IATA Jazz Quartet and the director of Cuesta’s jazz program, Ron McCarley, to the studio, where Greta Mart spoke with them about the Cuesta program, spring concerts and how jazz is still attracting young musicians with dreams of composing, performing and recording.