When Jane Getter began playing jazz guitar, she focused on producing mind-blowing riffs, what she calls "intellectual music."
But once she hit the road with a musical friend who played "feel good, party music," she changed the way she approached her guitar.
"It felt good seeing people clapping their hands, dancing and having fun," Getter said. "I realized music can really affect people in that way. I realized if I can make music that affects people and makes them feel good, or makes them have a better day, it made a lot of sense to me to play that way.
"I had been playing for a more intellectual experience so my music started to change then and started go to more of that groove-type jazz."
Getter will visit Hayden High School on Friday, practicing with the school band during the day and going on stage with her own band at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Tickets to see the New York City jazz guitarist are $10 and available at the school and All That Jazz in Steamboat Springs.
For months, the Hayden High School band has been practicing some of Getter's songs.
"I really think it's cool they're playing my stuff," Getter said. "I can't wait to hear what they sound like. This will be the first time another band has played my songs, with horns and everything. It should be interesting."
Band director Tim Watt got the idea for the school band to play Getter's songs and then collaborate with her after he met Getter in Steamboat Springs last year.
"I taught a guitar class once in Steamboat last year, and Tim came and really liked what I was doing," Getter said. "He asked if the jazz band at the school could play some of my songs. He thought it would be great for these kids to have the experience, so he arranged my songs for them to play."
Getter has played with some of New York's finest jazz musicians and played for a year as the guitarist on "Saturday Night Live." She released her own album in 1998 and has another due out soon. She got her start the way most young guitarists do -- with rock 'n' roll.
When Getter picked up a guitar at the age of 12, she mimicked blues artists and progressed to the Allman Brothers Band and Bonnie Raitt.
Growing up in New Jersey, near one of the world's jazz centers -- New York City -- it wasn't long before she discovered jazz. A friend took her to see Joe Pass.
"I had never heard guitar like that before, and I said I want to play like that," Getter said. "I didn't even have an electric (guitar) at the time, so I learned how to play jazz on acoustic guitar."
After discovering jazz with Pass, she discovered George Benson and Wes Montgomery. She began to sound like them when she found her coveted 1953 Gibson hollow-body electric guitar, which she has today.
"When I got it, I don't think the person who sold it to me was aware of its value," she said.
She will bring that guitar, along with bassist Lincoln Goines and drummer Rocky Bryant, to Friday's concert in Hayden.
While Getter and her band have collaborated with other major jazz artists and made lots of "intellectual music," on Friday she plans to play more of the "feel-good music" that can be heard on her latest album.