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 currently on sale Monday, May 2 at 10AM for the Imer Santiago Quintet with the OCSA Jazz A Big Band! This promises to be a great show.

Thanks to everyone who donated (or attempted to donate) during The Big Payback today. The TBP site experienced numerous technical problems and the event eventually had to be shut down. If you made a donation and received a confirmation, rest assured that it will be credited to the NJW.

 

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: April 11 to May 19
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

MONDAY 6:00pm

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jazz Keyboard Voicings 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    AFTERNOON CLASS: MEETS AT 1PM
    A beginning look at 4 note chords and their inversions, then moving to upper structures, such as 9, 11 and 13 chords and their alterations. Learn to play these in several positions. Emphasis on ii-V-I's and their inversions.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music Of George and Ira Gershwin - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    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 8:00pm

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 6:00pm

  • Beginning Vocal Performance Techniques - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Connye Florance
    Emphasis on developing good relationships and communication with skills with songs while using good vocal technique in a live performance situation. Students perform 2-3 songs as a mini set. Beginning microphone technique. Creating and delivering appropriate patter to set up a tune. Exploring and expanding your performance energy field to connect with and build relationships with audience. Communicating tempo and groove to the musicians. Learning to use conversational and grand gestures appropriate for the song. Understanding and overcoming stage fright. The singer's image. Handouts provided. Students can use jazz tracks from previous Vocal Tech 1, 2, or 3, but are strongly encouraged to have appropriate charts for live performance. Some charts may be available for purchase. Prerequisite: Vocal Tech 1, 2, and 3.
  • Charlie Christian and the Swing Era Jazz Guitar Style
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Chip Henderson
    This 6-week class will focus on the single-line soloing style of Charlie Christian as well as other prominent late Swing Era guitarists. Topics covered will include developing ideas through the use of chord grips & arpeggios, chord substitution practices, incorporation of blues elements, phrasing, and comping.
  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s):
    AFTERNOON CLASS - MEETS AT 4PM
    A class made up of a quartet or quintet. Materials covered include literature, intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping.
  • The Art of Phrasing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Focuses on packing something special into every phrase. Learn to turn a stiff vocal line into something that is instantly memorable. Master slurs, slides, stressed notes and syncopation. Developing vocal licks appropriate for the style. Singers bring in their own arrangements for the class. For Advanced Vocalists.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music Of George and Ira Gershwin - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Afternoon class meets at 12 noon
    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 8:00pm

  • 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.
  • Miles Davis Ensemble - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roland Barber
    A class covering the history, repertoire, and stylings of the mid-50's and 60's recordings of the famous quintet. The ensemble performs transcriptions of some of Miles's famous arrangements. For Trumpet, Alto and Tenor with rhythm section. Intermediate to Advanced level required.

WEDNESDAY 6:00pm

  • 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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music Of George and Ira Gershwin - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    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.
  • Voice Fundamentals
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson Schafer
    Set your natural voice free with the foundations of healthy singing skills. This class will give you vocal exercises to promote ease and freedom in your singing, as well as some basic knowledge of physiology and anatomy so you can keep your voice in great shape. Expand your range, explore conversational singing, and unlock the secrets of voice through playful vocaleses, a little bit of voice science, and a whole lot of fun! All ages and levels welcome as we explore the voice from the inside out.

WEDNESDAY 8:00pm

  • Rhythm Section Grooves for Vocalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem and Roger Spencer
    An important class for vocalists, this course explains the different rhythmic grooves or styles that a vocalist can ask instrumentalists to play while performing a song: slow swing, medium swing, fast swing, straight ballad, swing ballad, jazz waltz, bossa nova, samba, funk, straight 8ths, straight 16ths, etc. Students will learn to recognize and request all of these styles with a better understanding of what each instrument does within each groove. (Suggested prerequisites: Intro to Jazz Singing, Chart-writing for Vocalists, Musicianship for Vocalists)

THURSDAY 6:00pm

  • Comparative Listening: The Great Arrangers
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    Course description TBA
  • Mobile Apps for Musicians
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Graham Fuze
    Class tuition is $75. Dates are April 14, 21, and 28. Technology will be provided.
    This three-week course will help any musician to realize the potential of the technology we all carry around.  The sessions will be practical instruction on selected apps that are the best at: Ear Training, Learning and Transcribing songs, Organizing and Arranging Charts, Recording and Editing ideas.  It is helpful, but not necessary, that each student have an iPhone or iPad, with the apps on it.

THURSDAY 8:00pm

  • It's About Time
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    WITH GUEST DRUMMERS EACH WEEK
    A class for drummers and bassists designed to center the player's time. The class work includes metronome studies, time studies, and discussion of the role of drums and bass as timekeeper.