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 for the July 8 Snap on 2&4 w/ The Joe Davidian Trio are now on sale and going fast. Get yours now! 

The NJW Summer Jazz Camp has now concluded, and was a huge success! Many thanks to Vanderbilt Blair School of Music for hosting and to the generous donors and sponsors who have contributed scholarship funds, products, and equipment. See camp page for more information. And visit our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for highlights of the 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 $225 per 6-week class unless noted otherwise.

Color Key:

  • Instrumentalists
  • Vocalists
  • All Musicians and Enthusiasts

Session Dates: June 6 - July 14
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

Monday 6 pm

  • Introduction to Ensemble Playing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Evan Cobb
    A class open to all instrumentalists focusing on the beginning concepts of group playing such as feel, basic improvisation, blues, forms and listening. A great class for the beginning jazz player.
  • Introduction to Ensemble Playing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Evan Cobb
    A class open to all instrumentalists focusing on the beginning concepts of group playing such as feel, basic improvisation, blues, forms and listening. A great class for the beginning jazz player.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music Of George and Ira Gershwin - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Continuation from last 6-WEEKS, sold out
    The most popular songwriters of the "Golden Age" of Broadway were George and Ira Gershwin. Their songs have become the definitive example of the American Popular Songbook. In this 12-week class, students will study and perform over 24 famous Gershwin compositions focusing on phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements and performance techniques. At the end of the 12 weeks, students will perform with a trio.

Monday 8 pm

  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    A class made up of a quartet or quintet. Materials covered include literature, intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping.
  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Matt Endahl
    A class made up of a quartet or quintet. Materials covered include literature, intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping.
  • Soul Jazz Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    Intermediate to Advanced Ensemble covering great soul jazz tunes from artists such as Ramsey Lewis, Eddie Harris, Les McCann, & Stanley Turrentine.

Tuesday 12 pm

  • Vocal Literature: The Music Of George and Ira Gershwin - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Continuation from last 6-WEEKS, sold out
    The most popular songwriters of the "Golden Age" of Broadway were George and Ira Gershwin. Their songs have become the definitive example of the American Popular Songbook. In this 12-week class, students will study and perform over 24 famous Gershwin compositions focusing on phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements and performance techniques. At the end of the 12 weeks, students will perform with a trio.

Tuesday 6 pm

  • Intermediate Vocal Performance Techniques - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Connye Florance
    This class builds on students' performance techniques and introduces more selective songs, longer sets and increased use of stage/audience management techniques. By instructor's permission.
  • Solo Guitar
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Chip Henderson
    A class focusing on the elements of solo jazz guitar -- melody, comping, and bass lines -- and how to combine these to make music using the entire guitar.
  • Vocal Improvisation 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    Students will learn the basic concepts of improvisation. Topics to be covered include 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, their function, and recognition of chord spellings. They will begin to improvise over 12-bar Blues progressions. Intermediate level

Tuesday 8 pm

  • Instrumental Master Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    "Discovering your Musical Voice" - This course will help a musician develop and deliver their own artistic voice through a greater understanding of relationships in the ensemble, responsibilities and the adventures to be had on the jazz bandstand.
    A class designed to advance students towards a greater sense of artistry and depth in jazz performance. Course specifics vary on instructor.
  • Introduction to Jazz Singing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    A class for vocalists who want to learn jazz singing. Topics to be covered include jazz phrasing, tone, learning the correct melody to jazz standards, microphone and stage performance technique, and getting comfortable with accompanists. The class may be repeated as often as desired.
  • Wayne Shorter Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Don Aliquo
    A class covering the history, repertoire, and stylings of the Blue Note years of Wayne Shorter. The ensemble performs transcriptions of some of Wayne's famous recordings. For trumpet, alto, tenor, trombone and rhythm section. Advanced level required.

Wednesday 6 pm

  • Introduction to Ensemble Playing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    A class open to all instrumentalists focusing on the beginning concepts of group playing such as feel, basic improvisation, blues, forms and listening. A great class for the beginning jazz player.
  • The Voice Lab
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Margaret Rose
    An on-going class for all singers, from beginner through advanced. The focus is on the use of natural voice and conversational phrasing. Performance evaluation is combined with diagnostic techniques to correct common vocal and performance problems. Voice Lab can be repeated, or used as a review. This class is a prerequisite for Vocal Tech 1-4.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music Of George and Ira Gershwin - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Continuation from last 6-WEEKS, sold out
    The most popular songwriters of the "Golden Age" of Broadway were George and Ira Gershwin. Their songs have become the definitive example of the American Popular Songbook. In this 12-week class, students will study and perform over 24 famous Gershwin compositions focusing on phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements and performance techniques. At the end of the 12 weeks, students will perform with a trio.

Wednesday 8 pm

  • Get in the Pocket for Vocalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem and Liz Johnson Schafer
    An intensive study of how to be inside the time, how to really swing. Students will perform tunes with just drums, to strip down where the time is laying. An essential class.

Thursday 6 pm

  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    By audition only. A selected group of advanced vocalists performing original and standard material.

Thursday 8 pm

  • Nothing But The Conga
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Dann Sherrill
    In order to play Cuban music convincingly it is essential to have an understanding of the conga drum, also known as the tumbadoras. It is not possible to play the other percussion instruments convincingly without this knowledge. This 6-week course is designed to provide the student with grounding in conga technique. It is strongy recommended that participants own a conga drum.