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

TICKETS ON SALE: B-Side Social Friday, June 23. Be there!

NJW's Summer Season Performance Schedule is out now -- view or download a copy here!

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: June 12 - July 20
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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Harold Arlen - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 24 famous compositions by Harold Arlen, who wrote some of the greatest hits from the 30's and 40's, including the entire score to the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz." Other Arlen songs include "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Stormy Weather," "It's Only a Paper Moon," and "I've Got the World on a String." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Arlen's music. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Intro to Jazz Singing 1 & 2

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 Harold Arlen - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 24 famous compositions by Harold Arlen, who wrote some of the greatest hits from the 30's and 40's, including the entire score to the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz." Other Arlen songs include "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Stormy Weather," "It's Only a Paper Moon," and "I've Got the World on a String." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Arlen's music. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Intro to Jazz Singing 1 & 2

Tuesday 12 pm

  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Harold Arlen - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Study and perform over 24 famous compositions by Harold Arlen, who wrote some of the greatest hits from the 30's and 40's, including the entire score to the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz." Other Arlen songs include "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Stormy Weather," "It's Only a Paper Moon," and "I've Got the World on a String." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Arlen's music. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Intro to Jazz Singing 1 & 2

Tuesday 6 pm

  • Beginning Vocal Performance Techniques - 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Connye Florance
    Develop and practice the skills needed to effectively enhance vocal performances for the stage setting. In this class, students will develop excellent stage presence and communication skills, practice proper microphone technique, and learn to maximize good vocal technique for a live performance. Students will also learn how to communicate with the band in terms of presenting form, tempo, and groove. At the end of the 12 weeks, the student will perform two or three songs as a mini set.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing
  • Introduction to Jazz Singing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    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.
  • Rhythm Changes
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    With a blend of patterns, ear training, analysis, and technique, this class introduces the musician to the standard 'I Got Rhythm' chord changes. Students will learn various ways to improvise over these changes.
    Intermediate level required.

Tuesday 8 pm

  • Herbie Hancock Ensemble (Bluenote)
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    Study and perform some of the great compositions and style of the Blue Note years of Herbie Hancock. Students will explore some of Hancock's most famous tunes, including "Watermelon Man," "Maiden Voyage," "Dolphin Dance," "Driftin'" and more.
    For trumpet, tenor, trombone and rhythm section.
    Advanced level required.

Wednesday 6 pm

  • Introduction to Ensemble Playing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    This is a beginning ensemble open to all instrumentalists. Students will explore standard and jazz standard repertoire, focusing on the concepts of group playing, including feel, basic improvisation, blues, forms and listening.
  • 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.
    Prerequisite: This is an ongoing class for all singers, beginner through advanced.

Thursday 1 pm

  • Get In The Pocket
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    3-week class: July 6, 13, 20
    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

  • 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.
  • Instrumental Master Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Don Aliquo
    The Essence of Jazz Saxophone, 3-week class: June 15, 22, 29
    This class is designed to advance students toward a greater sense of artistry and depth in jazz performance. Course specifics will consist of special topics that depend on the instructor and the session.
  • Vocal Improvisation 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    Students will learn the basic concepts of improvisation with topics including rhythmic syllables and spoken scat, basic root motion and guide tones, stylistic approach, and use of melody for soloing. Students will also be introduced to basic chord types and their function. They will learn to recognize chord spellings and will begin to improvise over 12-bar Blues progressions.
    Suggested prerequisite: Ear Training 1