Nashville's community center for jazz, with classes, public performances, and special events. The Nashville Jazz Workshop is a non-profit organization supporting jazz musicians, jazz fans, and the jazz community.

Happenings

ON SALE NOW:
Snap on 2&4 w/ Christina Watson. Saturday, August 18, 8pm. GET TICKETS

Snap on 2&4 w/ Bob Harsen, Friday, August 24, 8pm. GET TICKETS

We hope you caught Greg Pogue's interview this past Sunday with NJW Executive Director Eric Dilts on Acme Radio Live. It was a great chance for Nashville jazz fans to get to know Eric. As a bonus, Greg devoted the entire show to music by NJW faculty members! If you missed it, you can listen to the show in the archives and check out Greg's other past shows spotlighting the city's luminaries!

You can meet Eric in person this Sunday, August 19, 1-3 at the Workshop. Please stop by and say hello!

Upcoming Classes

The Jazz Workshop has classes from introductory to advanced — for students just learning jazz, professionals wanting to "sharpen their edges," and non-musicians wanting to learn more about jazz. Instructors are Nashville's finest jazz musicians. Classes are 2 hours a night, once a week for 6 weeks. Tuition is $250 per 6-week class unless noted otherwise.

Color Key:

  • Instrumentalists
  • Vocalists
  • All Musicians and Enthusiasts

Session Dates: July 30 - September 6
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

Monday 6 pm

  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Evan Cobb
    This intermediate to advanced ensemble is open to all instrumentalists. Students will cover more advanced concepts of literature, including intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping. The ensemble will perform at the end of the six-week session.
  • The Voice Lab
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Margaret Rose
    Focusing on natural voice and conversational phrasing, students will learn from diagnostic techniques to evaluate performance and correct common vocal and performance problems. Voice Lab can be repeated or used as a review.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Jimmy Van Heusen - Part 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 22 famous compositions by Jimmy Van Heusen, whose songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. His tunes include "I Thought About You," "Here's That Rainy Day," "Like Someone in Love," "Come Fly With Me," and "All the Way." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Van Heusen's music. Part 1 of 2. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing

Monday 8 pm

  • Advanced Vocal Literature: Transcription and Vocalese - Part 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson and Lori Mechem
    Vocalese is the setting of lyrics to established jazz orchestral instrumentals. Jon Hendricks, Eddie Jefferson and King Pleasure played important roles in the history of vocal jazz to implement this style. This is Part 1 or a 2-part class. Students will learn famous vocalese solos and instrumental solos by artists such as John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly, Miles Davis and Stan Getz.
    Prerequisites: Vocal Improv 1 and 2.
  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    This intermediate to advanced ensemble is open to all instrumentalists. Students will cover more advanced concepts of literature, including intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping. The ensemble will perform at the end of the six-week session.
  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Matt Endahl
    This intermediate to advanced ensemble is open to all instrumentalists. Students will cover more advanced concepts of literature, including intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping. The ensemble will perform at the end of the six-week session.

Tuesday 12 pm

  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Jimmy Van Heusen - Part 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Study and perform over 22 famous compositions by Jimmy Van Heusen, whose songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. His tunes include "I Thought About You," "Here's That Rainy Day," "Like Someone in Love," "Come Fly With Me," and "All the Way." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Van Heusen's music. Part 1 of 2. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing

Tuesday 6 pm

  • Bebop Scales and Patterns
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    The Bebop scale began to appear in the 1950's and '60's as a way to enhance the flexibility of the major scale/mixolydian scale and create a more melodic and complex sound. Students will learn these scales, along with interesting patterns that will make them sound like pros.
  • Improv Comedy for Musical Artists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Carolyn German
    3 week course - 8/28, 9/4, 9/11 - $125
    Want to learn to get "out of your own way"? Want to be more free with your musical exploration? This fast-paced and funny 3 week mini session will shine some light on ways to embrace spontaneity, stretch your creativity, and allow yourself to listen and respond in a more organic way. And what better way to do this than that creatively-dangerous artform: Improv Comedy. Through exercises and games that get to the root of improv skills, participants will laugh and learn at the same time, and come away a new approach to musical and creative choice-making.
  • Introduction to Jazz Singing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Joe Freel
    Learn to sing jazz standards. In this class, you'll learn correct melodies to jazz standards along with groove, jazz phrasing, and tone, while getting comfortable singing with an accompanist.
  • Lyric Writing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Carolyn German
    3 week course - 7/31, 8/7, 8/21 - $125
    This class examines lyrics of famous composers, including Broadway, Hollywood and jazz writers, and also examines how Western Literature and poetry influenced major lyricists, including Johnny Mercer, E.Y. Harburg, and Lorenz Hart. Topics include rhyme schemes and song forms as they apply to the lyric. Students bring in their own writing, find and bring in various lyrics, and perform their own songs for critique.

Tuesday 8 pm

  • Instrumental Master Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    "Walking Bass Lines" 6 week course
    This class is designed to advance students toward a greater sense of artistry and depth in jazz performance. Special topics will depend on the instructor and session.
  • Musical Theatre Repertoire
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Carolyn German
    Musical Theater Repertoire Get ready to add a wide variety of styles to your repertoire from the world of Musical Theater. Participants will learn 16 different songs from musical theater makers such as Kander/Ebb, Herman, Sondheim, Weber, Tesori, Bray/Russell/Willis, and more. Gain the insights that are embedded in theater tunes (things like comic timing, story telling, characterizations, and consistency), while connecting with tunes that will broaden your vocal options and enhance your performance.
  • Oliver Nelson Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Bruce Dudley
    Study and perform the compositions and style of Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth. Students will explore tunes including "Stolen Moments," "Hoe-down," "Cascade," "Yearnin," and more.
    For trumpet, tenor, alto, baritone, and rhythm section.
    Advanced level required.

Wednesday 6 pm

  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Jonathan Wires
    This intermediate to advanced ensemble is open to all instrumentalists. Students will cover more advanced concepts of literature, including intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping. The ensemble will perform at the end of the six-week session.
  • The Art of the Duo
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    In this basic class on how to play as a duo, students will work together on creative arrangements and will learn how to communicate song literature. Instrumentalists must be able to comp and play bass lines, improvise, and provide the melodic bed to support the soloist.
    For vocalists, guitarists, and pianists.

Wednesday 8 pm

  • Beginning Arranging
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Bruce Dudley
    An introductory class to arranging for a small group, this class begins with simple lead sheets and trio arrangements, and then progresses to arrangements for two horns.
  • Cuban Percussion
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Dann Sherrill
    This 6-week class will focus on all the instruments of the Cuban rhythm section: conga, bongo, timbales, guiro, maracas, and shekere. Students will learn how clave functions in Cuban music and how all percussion parts fit together in clave. The students will also learn how songs in Cuban music and Salsa are constructed, including breaks, intros, and 'when to play what.' This class is the suggested prerequisite for the Cuban Music Ensemble.
  • Get in the Pocket
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    This is an essential class for the intermediate to advanced vocalist or instrumentalist. With a drummer as the only accompanist, the student will gain a deeper sense of rhythmic timing which is the core of swing. In addition, students will have the opportunity to sit behind the drumset, learning swing patterns that will help them understand the essence of “Getting in the Pocket.”

Thursday 6 pm

  • Music Notation: The Art of the Rhythm Chart
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): John Hinchey
    Required: Laptop AND (Sibelius OR Finale) 3 week course, August 2, 9, &16, $125
    This course focuses on the creation of rhythm section parts, starting with basic chord charts, master rhythm charts, and fully notated charts for the basic 4-piece rhythm section (keyboard, guitar, bass and drums). The class will concentrate on proper notation, layout, and techniques for printing and preparing charts for live performance and recording. Students will learn to create charts that prevent the time-consuming questions and confusion that can bog down a rehearsal or recording session. In the course of this study, students will gain a deeper understanding of how to use the music notation programs Sibelius and Finale.
  • The Life and Music of Bill Evans
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Bruce Dudley
    September 6, 6pm-9pm, $50
    This class is devoted to Bill Evans's music, including his work as a sideman, trio leader, and solo pianist, with emphasis on the evolution of his trio innovations.