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 weekend: Sunday Night Jazz at the City Winery w/ the Jody Nardone Trio.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW: tickets for Snap on 2&4 w/ the Joe Davidian Trio Friday, July 28, and The Spontaneous Comedy Company Saturday, July 29.

 

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: July 31 - September 7
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

Monday 1 pm

  • Musicianship for Vocalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    3-week class.July 31, Aug. 7 & 14
    This is an essential class for the beginner to intermediate vocalist who wants to communicate and develop the basic musical skills necessary for working with musicians. Students will develop an understanding of intros and endings, learn to work with simple arrangements, explore various styles, and build a "must know" list of tunes. There will be no performance.
    Prerequisites: Intro to Jazz Singing 1 & 2 and Chart-writing for Vocalists.

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.
  • 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 Duke Ellington - Part 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 24 famous compositions by Duke Ellington, one of the most influential figures in jazz, including tunes like, "Take the A Train," "Satin Doll," "Don't Get Around Much," "Come Sunday," and "In a Sentimental Mood." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Ellington's music. This is Part 1 of a 2-part class. 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

  • Advanced Vocal Literature: Billy Strayhorn & Bill Evans - Part 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem and Liz Johnson Schafer
    Study and perform the compositions of Billy Strayhorn and Bill Evans, including "Waltz for Debby," "Passion Flower," and "The Star-Crossed Lover." Learn repertoire, styles, and lyric interpretation. This is Part 1 of a 2-part class. At the end of the 12 weeks, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Prerequisite: Advanced level required, Chart Writing for Vocalists
  • 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.

Tuesday 6 pm

  • Bebop Scales and Patterns
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    The Bebop scale began to appear in the 1950's and '60's as a way to enhance the flexibility of the major scale/mixolydian scale and create a more melodic and complex sound. Students will learn these scales, along with interesting patterns that will make them sound like pros.
  • 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.

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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Duke Ellington - Part 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 24 famous compositions by Duke Ellington, one of the most influential figures in jazz, including tunes like, "Take the A Train," "Satin Doll," "Don't Get Around Much," "Come Sunday," and "In a Sentimental Mood." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Ellington's music. This is Part 1 of a 2-part class. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Intro to Jazz Singing 1 & 2

Wednesday 8 pm

  • Jazztet Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    Study and perform the great compositions of the Benny Golson/Art Farmer group "The Jazztet." Students will explore tunes including "Killer Joe," "Along Came Betty," "Stablemates," "Mox Nix" and more.
    For trumpet, tenor, trombone, alto, and rhythm section.
    Intermediate to Advanced level suggested.

Thursday 1 pm

  • Chart-Writing for Vocalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    3-week class Aug. 24, 31, Sept. 7
    A class covering the basics of notation and application to writing simple chord charts. Intros and endings to tunes are discussed.
  • Introduction to Basic Piano Skills for Vocalists and Instrumentalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    3-week class. Aug. 3, 10, & 17
    A beginning class for all instrumentalists and vocalists who want to be able to accompany themselves and read basic chord charts. Topics covered 4 note chords, ii-V- I progressions and bass lines.

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.
  • Transcription and Vocalese - Part 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    Vocalese is the setting of lyrics to established jazz orchestral instrumentals. Jon Hendricks, Eddie Jefferson and King Pleasure played very important roles in the history of vocal jazz to implement this style. This is Part 1 or a 2-part class. Students will learn famous vocalese solos as well as instrumental solos ( Coltrane, Adderley, Davis, Getz) that will be scatted by the vocalist.
    Prerequisites: Vocal Improv 1 and 2. Advanced level required.

Thursday 8 pm

  • Improv Comedy for Musical Artists - 3-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Carolyn German
    3-week class. Aug. 3, 10, & 17
    Want to learn to get "out of your own way"? Want to be more free with your musical exploration? This fast-paced and funny 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 game 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.