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

Coming up:

The Beegie Adair Trio, Saturday, April 27, 8pm. TICKETS

On sale Monday, April 22: NJW Presents Chester Thompson, Friday, May 3. TICKETS

THERE'S BIG NEWS FROM NJW. READ THIS SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ERIC DILTS.

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: April 15 to May 23
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 ii-V-I Progression
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    This class introduces the musician to the most important chord progression in jazz through a blend of patterns, ear training, analysis, and technique.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Irving Berlin
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 15 famous compositions by Irving Berlin, whose songs include "Blue Skies," "Cheek to Cheek," "Puttin' on the Ritz," 'How Deep is the Ocean," and "I've Got my Love to Keep me Warm." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Berlin's music. At the end of the six-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing

Monday 8 pm

  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • Weather Report Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Chester Thompson
    Auditions Thursday, March 21, 7pm.
    Study and perform the compositions and styles of Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter. This class will emphasize groove, soloing, and how to play as a group. Students will explore tunes including "Birdland," "A Remark You Made," "Palladium," "Elegant People," and more.
    For tenor, keyboards, bass, drums, and percussion.
    Enrollment by audition only.

Tuesday 12 pm

  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Irving Berlin
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Study and perform over 15 famous compositions by Irving Berlin, whose songs include "Blue Skies," "Cheek to Cheek," "Puttin' on the Ritz," 'How Deep is the Ocean," and "I've Got my Love to Keep me Warm." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Berlin's music. At the end of the six-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing

Tuesday 6 pm

  • Contemporary Improvisation for Jazz Guitar
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lindsey Miller
    Students in this intermediate-to-advanced level class will gain an overview of prominent contemporary guitarists and their techniques, including alternate picking, legato, and economy picking, as well as intervallic improvisation, outside playing, three note voicings, quartal harmony, and quintal harmony.
  • 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.

Tuesday 8 pm

  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Matt Endahl
    Advanced Ensemble: Music of Bud Powell
    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.

Wednesday 6 pm

  • Intro to Vocology (Vocal Health)
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson
    3 weeks, April 17, 24, May 1. Tuition $125
    This class will explore the basics of vocal anatomy and physiology, different breathing techniques, and an array of simple mindfulness and voice exercises that singers can use to experience a lifetime of beautiful, effortless singing. Students will be encouraged (but not required) to sing jazz standards as part of this class, and to share their vocal experiences. Discover the elegant mechanics of the voice and how to apply this knowledge to the art of singing. Students sing with jazz tracks, and must purchase Hal Leonard's Jazz Tracks for Singers (male or female), book of 15 tunes and CD. Available at www.jazzbooks.com or www.halleonard.com.
  • Original Jazz Composition
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    In this class, the focus is on original student compositions as students learn how to write in standard jazz forms, including blues, minor blues, rhythm changes, and modal tunes in order to capture the styles of famous jazz composers.
    For instrumentalists and vocalists.
    Intermediate to advanced level.
    Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
  • 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 Phrasing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson
    3 weeks: May 8, 15, 22. Tuition $125
    Students will learn to transform a lyric from the page into something instantly memorable. Exercises will involve tools such as back phrasing, singing over the bar line, and balancing long and short phrases. Students will also learn the speech level singing connection, which will enhance believability.

Wednesday 8 pm

  • Master Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Advanced Ear Training; class will also involve dictation & transcription.
    A class focused on special topics or skills, led by a master NJW vocal teacher. Topic will vary with the instructor.
  • The Essence of Brushwork
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Chris Brown
    In this class, students will focus on the time-keeping patterns that drummers need to know, with an emphasis on sound and its purpose. Students will learn new and useful brush techniques to help with time and solo work.

Thursday 6 pm

  • Advanced Vocal Literature: French Chansons - Part 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Learn some of the most popular French jazz songs that crossed the Atlantic, including "La Vie en Rose," "La Mer" (Beyond The Sea), and "Les Feuilles Mortes" (Autumn Leaves) by composers and singers such as Edith Piaf, Michel LeGrand, Yves Montand, and Blossom Dearie. At the end of the 12 weeks, you will perform with an instrumental ensemble.
    Recommended prerequisite: All songs will be sung in French, so some prior knowledge of the French language is recommended but not required.
  • Instrumental Master Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Pat Coil
    May 9, 6-9pm. "Finding Your Own Voice as an Improvisor" – practical practice strategies and methods to achieve an individual style. Tuition $50
    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.
  • The Ladies of Song
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Dara Tucker
    May 2, 6-9pm. Tuition $50
    A listening and appreciation class focusing on some of the great women jazz vocalists – their recording, styles, and what makes them great jazz artists.