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Santa Barbara Mourns Death of Music Legend, Educator Ike Jenkins

Isaac ‘Ike’ Jenkins Click to view larger
Isaac ‘Ike’ Jenkins

The Santa Barbara community is mourning the death of Ike Jenkins, the local music legend and educator who helped shape the careers and lives of countless musicians.

Jenkins, who passed away last weekend, had taught and directed bands and choirs at Dos Pueblos High School and Santa Barbara High School, as well as Santa Barbara City College.

Jenkins came to music young in life, singing and playing piano in his father's church. In high school he learned flute and bass, and started his first band.

A graduate of Dana College in Nebraska with degrees in both vocal and instrumental music, Jenkins did graduate work at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Denver University, and the Meadowbrook School of Music.

Isaac “Ike” Jenkins began his work in Santa Barbara in 1971 at La Cumbre Jr. High School.

He taught at Dos Pueblos from 1979 to 1989, guiding his students to numerous accolades at jazz festivals and other competitions throughout the country. He moved on to Santa Barbara High in 1989, then returned to Dos Pueblos in 2000 as jazz choir and vocal director.

After his “retirement,” he continued to teach and direct at SBCC, and perform with his band.

Jenkins also was a professional musical conductor and actor. Among his credits, according to the California Alliance for Jazz, he was Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and also did voice-over work for commercials and for Disney. He was the voice for Hector the Bear in The Country Bear Jamboree.

The Santa Barbara Unified School District issued the following statement regarding Jenkins’ passing:

“It is with great sorrow that we learned of the sudden death of a beloved and inspirational music teacher in Santa Barbara Unified School District. This news is weighing heavy on the hearts of many of our faculty and former students who remember him as a remarkable human with a passion for music and an abundance of love for whomever crossed his path or classroom.

“Ike Jenkins was legendary and lives on in the music and students he has forever inspired. On behalf of the district, we wish his family and friends peace during this season of mourning and may we find joy in the memories of the tremendous legacy he has left throughout our community.”

No funeral services have been announced.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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