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

MONDAY, JANUARY 16 . . . We celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. by recalling some of Nashville's contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. Here's a video recorded in the Jazz Cave in 2011 by former Freedom Rider and jazz drummer Rip Patton, talking about some of those events. WATCH NOW

There are more great events scheduled for January . . . tickets are on sale now  for the January 20 Snap on 2&4 w/ The Jody Nardone Trio. Next up is the the January 27 Snap on 2&4 w/ Evan Cobb. Tickets go on sale for that performance starting Monday Jan, 16.

Construction Notice: Beginning Monday, November 28 - Monroe Street may be closed for part of the day due to ongoing construction work in Germantown. Students and visitors will be directed to the Taylor Street entrance when Monroe Street is closed (the Monroe entrance is open in the evenings). We apologize for the inconvenience. 

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 $225 per 6-week class unless noted otherwise.

Color Key:

  • Instrumentalists
  • Vocalists
  • All Musicians and Enthusiasts

Session Dates: January 9 to February 16
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

Monday 1 pm

  • Ear Training 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    A basic class starting with intervals, triads, 4 note chords, inversions of chords, bass lines and simple melody lines. Minimal dictation. For vocalists and instrumentalists.

Monday 3 pm

  • Chart Writing for Vocalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    3 week class meeting Jan. 9, 16, & 23. Only $100 tuition!
    A class covering basic theory, notation, and application to writing simple chord charts. Intros and Endings to tunes are also discussed.

Monday 6 pm

  • Introduction to Ensemble Playing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Evan Cobb
    A class open to all instrumentalists focusing on the beginning concepts of group playing such as feel, basic improvisation, blues, forms and listening. A great class for the beginning jazz player.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Rodgers and Hart - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Rodgers and Hart were an American songwriting partnership of composer Richard Rodgers and the lyricist Lorenz Hart. They worked together on 28 stage musicals and had written more than 500 songs. Some of their greatest tunes included "My Funny Valentine", "Where or When", "The Lady is a Tramp", "Bewitched", "It Never Entered My Mind", and "I Could Write a Book" just to name a few. In this class, students will study and perform over 24 famous Rodger's and Hart compositions. Focus will be on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques and song forms. At the end of the 12- week session, students will perform with a trio.

Monday 8 pm

  • Rhythm Section Grooves for Instrumentalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer and Matt Endahl
    An important class for rhythm section players, this course explains the different rhythmic grooves or styles that a instrumentalist should know how to play: slow swing, ballad, medium swing, fast swing, straight ballad, swing ballad, jazz waltz, bossa nova, samba, mambo, cha-cha, bolero, rhumba funk, straight 8ths, straight 16ths, etc. Students will learn to recognize and play all of these styles with a better understanding of what each instrument does within each groove. (Suggested prerequisites: Small Ensemble, Comping for Pianists and Guitarists, Jazz Drumset )
  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): James Westfall
    A class made up of a quartet or quintet. Materials covered include literature, intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping.

Tuesday 12 pm

  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Rodgers and Hart - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Rodgers and Hart were an American songwriting partnership of composer Richard Rodgers and the lyricist Lorenz Hart. They worked together on 28 stage musicals and had written more than 500 songs. Some of their greatest tunes included "My Funny Valentine", "Where or When", "The Lady is a Tramp", "Bewitched", "It Never Entered My Mind", and "I Could Write a Book" just to name a few. In this class, students will study and perform over 24 famous Rodger's and Hart compositions. Focus will be on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques and song forms. At the end of the 12- week session, students will perform with a trio.

Tuesday 6 pm

  • Blues Improvisation
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Rod McGaha
    A class introducing the musician to the blues, and various ways to improv over standard changes and substitutions. This class is a blend of patterns, ear training, analysis and technique. The class will also look at Minor blues. Intermediate level required.
  • Introduction to Jazz Singing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    A class for vocalists who want to learn jazz singing. Topics to be covered include jazz phrasing, tone, learning the correct melody to jazz standards, microphone and stage performance technique, and getting comfortable with accompanists. The class may be repeated as often as desired.
  • Jazz Guitar Voicings
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Mel Deal
    For guitarists who want to move beyond vanilla "guitar chords" to authentic jazz voicings. The class will begin with 3rds & 7ths (guide tones), and move through triads and quartal voicings. Students will apply voicings over jazz blues progressions.

Tuesday 8 pm

  • Chord Melodies for Guitar
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Mel Deal
    An introduction to creating your own arrangements for solo guitar. We will study chord voicings, bass line movement, chord substitution and key placement. Styles covered will be ballads, latin, jazz waltz and swing. The objective is to become a more complete guitar player.
  • Horace Silver Ensemble - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    A class covering the history, repertoire, and stylings of the Blue Note years of Horace Silver. The ensemble performs transcriptions of some of Horace's famous recordings. For trumpet, alto, tenor, trombone and rhythm section. Intermediate to advanced level required.

Wednesday 6 pm

  • Introduction to Ensemble Playing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    A class open to all instrumentalists focusing on the beginning concepts of group playing such as feel, basic improvisation, blues, forms and listening. A great class for the beginning jazz player.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Rodgers and Hart - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Rodgers and Hart were an American songwriting partnership of composer Richard Rodgers and the lyricist Lorenz Hart. They worked together on 28 stage musicals and had written more than 500 songs. Some of their greatest tunes included "My Funny Valentine", "Where or When", "The Lady is a Tramp", "Bewitched", "It Never Entered My Mind", and "I Could Write a Book" just to name a few. In this class, students will study and perform over 24 famous Rodger's and Hart compositions. Focus will be on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques and song forms. At the end of the 12- week session, students will perform with a trio.
  • Voice Fundamentals 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    Set your natural voice free with the foundations of healthy singing skills. This class will give you vocal exercises to promote ease and freedom in your singing, as well as some basic knowledge of physiology and anatomy so you can keep your voice in great shape. Expand your range, explore conversational singing, and unlock the secrets of voice through playful vocaleses, a little bit of voice science, and a whole lot of fun! All ages and levels welcome as we explore the voice from the inside out.

Wednesday 8 pm

  • Advanced Vocal Styles & Literature: Peggy Lee
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    A study of music associated with Peggy Lee. Class focuses on repertoire, stylistic approach, lyric interpretation, and phrasing. Class will discover original material from the songbook of Peggy Lee.

Thursday 12 pm

  • Cabaret Repertoire
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Carolyn German
    This class is for vocalists who are ready to look beyond the standard fare to discover songs that make a cabaret show truly unique. Students will work on a new song each week, exploring a variety of styles, genres, and formats, including learning tools for crafting memorable medleys and witty parodies. At the end of the session, vocalists will perform a short 4-song set.

Thursday 6 pm

  • Cabaret Repertoire
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Carolyn German
    This class is for vocalists who are ready to look beyond the standard fare to discover songs that make a cabaret show truly unique. Students will work on a new song each week, exploring a variety of styles, genres, and formats, including learning tools for crafting memorable medleys and witty parodies. At the end of the session, vocalists will perform a short 4-song set.
  • Latin Drumset Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Chester Thompson
    A class for the the intermediate to advanced drumset player wanting to learn Brazilian and Cuban styles.

Thursday 8 pm

  • Brazilian Percussion
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Dann Sherrill
    This class covers the major styles of Brazilian music and the associated styles, instruments, and techniques. Instruments include the Pandeiro, Ganza, Caxixi, Chekere, Surdo, Tamborim,Timbau & Repinique, Agogo, Caixa (Snare Drum), Berimbau, Atabaque, and Quica.