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 are on sale for the first 2018 appearance of the fabulous Spontaneous Comedy Company. That takes place Saturday, Jan. 20 at 8pm. Get tickets here.

Tickets are also on sale for Snap on 2&4 w/ Rahsaan Barber Friday, Jan. 26, and Snap on 2&4 w/ Mel Deal Saturday, Feb. 3 (rescheduled from last week).

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: January 8 to February 15
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

Monday 6 pm

  • Cabaret Toolbox
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Carolyn German
    Cabaret artists are typically responsible for every aspect of their show: song selection, patter, booking, rehearsal scheduling and leading, and just about anything else you can think of. Join us for this practical guide that will introduce vocalists to the skills needed for a successful cabaret performance. Topics covered include: writing effective patter, getting the most from rehearsals, marketing basics, and maximizing the stage and the venue. Participants sing each week, and upon completion of the course performers will have gained necessary insights regarding the elements involved in creating and performing a cabaret.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing, Beginning Vocal Performance, or permission of instructor.
  • Introduction to Ensemble Playing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Evan Cobb
    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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Johnny Mercer - Part 1
    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 "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

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.
  • 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.

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

  • Chart-Writing for Vocalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson
    3-week class, Jan 9, 16, & 23
    A class covering the basics of notation and application to writing simple chord charts. Intros and endings to tunes are discussed.
  • Keyboard Basics
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson
    3-week class, Jan 30, Feb 6 & 13
    All music is based on the piano. In this class, students study the keyboard, learning note names, intervals, chord structures, and musical notation in an easy to understand format that will show how to connect the voice to the notes of the keyboard and ultimately unlock the mysteries of music. Understanding melodies and how notes work together on the keyboard will give students a better sense of pitch center and overall musical accuracy.
    Students must purchase Jazz Piano For Pianists and Non-Pianists by Jerry Coker. Available at www.jazzbooks.com

Tuesday 6 pm

  • Beginning Jazz Improvisation
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    This class focuses on the study of chords, scales, modes, simple patterns, and harmonic structure. For all instruments.
  • 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

  • Duke Ellington Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    Study and perform some of the great compositions and harmonic style of Duke Ellington. Students will explore the tunes "Take the A Train," "Mood Indigo," "Perdido," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and many others.
    This class is for trumpet, tenor, alto, baritone trombone, and rhythm section.
    Intermediate to Advanced level suggested.

Wednesday 12 pm

  • Ear Training 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    This is a basic class that begins with intervals, triads, 4 note chords, inversions of chords, bass lines and simple melody lines.

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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Johnny Mercer - Part 1
    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 "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
  • 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 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    This is a basic class that begins with intervals, triads, 4 note chords, inversions of chords, bass lines and simple melody lines.
  • Instrumental Master Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    "Walking Bass Lines" a 5 week class starting January 17
    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.

Thursday 12 pm

  • Listening to Jazz: A 3-week Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    3 week class - February 1, 8, 15
    This class explores the act of listening to jazz, including how to listen into the music, what to listen for, who to listen to, and how to listen between the notes.

Thursday 6 pm

  • Improv Comedy for Musical Artists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Carolyn German
    3 week class - January 11, 18, 25
    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.
  • Instrumental Master Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    "Jazz Piano Masterclass" - 3 week course January 11, 18, 25
    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.