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

This week:

Thursday, Feb. 15, Master Class w/ Jeff Coffin.  Details here

Sunday, Feb. 18, NJW Jam Session, 4-6pm

On Sale Monday at 10am:

B-Side Social w/ Ryan Connors, Thurs. Feb. 22

Snap on 2&4 w/ Chris Walters, Sat., Feb. 24

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: February 27 to April 6
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

Monday 6 pm

  • Introduction to Jazz Guitar
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Mel Deal
    This class is designed for beginning jazz guitarists, advanced beginners, and players versed in other styles who want to make the transition to jazz. Students will focus on the simple chord shapes and rhythms that create a jazz sound, as well as chord voicings, comping rhythms, and guide tones.
  • 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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Johnny Mercer - Part 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 24 famous Johnny Mercer compositions, among the most popular hits of the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, including "Hit the Road to Dreamland," "Charade," "Emily," and "P.S. I Love You." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Mercer's music. Part 2 or 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

  • 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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Alan & Marilyn Bergman - Part 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Pro level class, by audition only
    Study and perform the songs of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, whose award-winning songs include "The Windmills of Your Mind," " What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life," "Nice 'n' Easy," "The Summer Knows," and the score for "Yentl." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to the Bergmans' music. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Five Great American Songbook literature classes and Chart Writing

Tuesday 12 pm

  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Johnny Mercer - Part 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Study and perform over 24 famous Johnny Mercer compositions, among the most popular hits of the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, including "Laura," "Midnight Sun," "Autumn Leaves," "Days of Wine and Roses," and "Moon River." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Mercer's music. Part 1 or 2. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing

Tuesday 2 pm

  • Get in the Pocket
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    3-week class, Feb. 27, March 6 & 13
    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.”

Tuesday 6 pm

  • Blues Improvisation
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    As an introduction to the blues for the musician, this class is a blend of patterns, ear training, analysis and technique. Students will learn various ways to improvise over standard changes and substitutions, including a look at Minor blues.
  • Intermediate Vocal Performance Techniques - Parts 1 and 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Connye Florance
    Further develop performance techniques with this introduction to a larger and more selective repertoire of songs. In this class, students will learn stage performance skills by building relationships with their audience and creating and delivering appropriate patter to set up a tune. Students will be accompanied by a trio, giving them the chance to explore new arrangements of their songs. Each student will learn five songs, selecting three to perform as a mini set at the end of the 12 weeks.
    Suggested Prerequisites: Beginning Vocal Performance, Introduction to Jazz Singing
  • 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

  • Billy Strayhorn Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    Study and perform some of the great compositions and harmonic style of Billy Strayhorn, famous for co-writing with the legendary Duke Ellington and his orchestra. Students will learn the songs "Upper Manhattan Medical Group," "Chelsea Bridge," "Passion Flower," "Isfahan," and more.
    For trumpet, tenor, trombone, and rhythm section.
    Intermediate to Advanced level suggested.
  • 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 meaningful medleys, unique song interpretations, and witty parodies. At the end of the session, vocalists will perform a short four-song cabaret set.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing, Beginning Vocal Performance or permission of instructor.

Wednesday 12 pm

  • Ear Training 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    A continuation of Ear Training 1, this class will give students a better understanding of chord extensions and their inversions. It includes minimal melodic dictation.

Wednesday 6 pm

  • 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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Johnny Mercer - Part 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 24 famous Johnny Mercer compositions, among the most popular hits of the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, including "Hit the Road to Dreamland," "Charade," "Emily," and "P.S. I Love You." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Mercer's music. Part 2 or 2. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing
  • Vocal Technique
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson
    Jazz singing offers the opportunity to learn contemporary singing techniques in a healthy and fun way. This class will help keep the student's voice in great shape with vocal exercises designed to promote ease of singing and to set the natural voice free. Students will learn some vocal physiology and anatomy, expand their range, and explore conversational singing through jazz. Unlock the secrets of singing through playful exercises, a bit of voice science, and jazz. 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

Wednesday 8 pm

  • Ear Training 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    A continuation of Ear Training 1, this class will give students a better understanding of chord extensions and their inversions. It includes minimal melodic dictation.
  • Soul Song: Set Your Inner Musician Free
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson
    3-week class, Feb. 28, March 7 & 14
    This class is for all musicians - singers, instrumentalists, and writers alike. The course will focus on releasing the blocks that stand in the way of feeling freedom, ease, and joy in making music, as well as building skills for more effective practice and ultimately, a more effortless experience of music making. Through group discussion, journaling, lyric writing, and mindful practicing, the class will discover how the masters approach their instruments and music. The course will utilize exercises from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner, and The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten.
    The book Effortless Mastery is the required text for the class and can be purchased at www.jazzbooks.com

Thursday 12 pm

  • Comparative Listening: The Great Jazz Standards
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    3-week class, March 22 & 29, April 5
    Students will listen to and analyze different versions of the same tunes in order to understand the elements of different jazz styles.