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

What a fantastic show last night with Rahsaan Barber and his group! Wow! Tonight is night two of our weekend double feature with Donna McElroy August 29! These tickets are SOLD OUT but you can watch it live online on Concert Window! Join us! 

Now on Nashvillejazz Radio: Lots of new music, including selections from Peter Bernstein, Connye Florance, Bruce Dudley, and more!  Also, daily at 9am and 8pm, hear vocalist Monica Ramey on "Live From The Cave," an hour of music hosted by Don O. Henry. Click on the radio at the top of the page, or visit our Nashvillejazz Radio page for details.

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 $200 per 6-week class unless noted otherwise.

Color Key:

  • Instrumentalists
  • Vocalists
  • All Musicians and Enthusiasts

Session Dates: September 14 - October 22
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

MONDAY 6:00pm

  • 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.
  • The ii-V-I Progression
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    A class introducing the musician to the most important chord progression in jazz. This class is a blend of patterns, ear training, analysis and technique.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Harry Warren - A 6-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Harry Warren was the first major American songwriter to write primarily for film. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song eleven times and won three Oscars for composing "Lullaby of Broadway", "You'll Never Know" and "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe". He wrote the music for the first blockbuster film musical 42nd Street. Over a career spanning four decades, Warren wrote over 800 songs. Other well-known Warren hits included "I Only Have Eyes for You", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "That's Amore", "The More I See You", "At Last" and "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" (the last of which was the first gold record in history). In this six week class, students will study and perform over 15 famous Warren compositions. Focus will be on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques and song forms. At the end of the six week session, students will perform with a trio.

MONDAY 8:00pm

  • 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.

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.
  • Guitar Comping I
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): James DaSilva
    A 2 hour class covering many 'comping' concepts specifically geared for the beginning to intermediate guitarist. Drop 2, Drop 3, and pianistic voicings will be discussed as they pertain to standards and more specifically the ii/V/I progression. Harmonization techniques including Wes Montgomery block-chord style will be covered as well as Joe Pass walking bass line style of playing. Rhythmic devices as well as beginning tension and chord substitution will also be discussed. This class is an excellent way for the guitarist to get deeper inside his/her role of comping.
  • Introduction to Jazz Singing - Level 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Level 2 in the Intro to Jazz Singing series. This class introduces the vocalists to performing with an accompanist. 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.

TUESDAY 8:00pm

  • Billy Strayhorn Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Denis Solee
    A class covering the harmonies and melodies of the great Billy Strayhorn, famous for his co-writing with the legendary Duke Ellington and his orchestra. For 3 horns and rhythm section.
  • Rehearsal Sessions
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Connye Florance
    Advanced vocal students with a healthy repertoire of songs (from at least 5 repertoire classes) and charts in proper keys (plus all other VP classes thru advanced) will strengthen their skills in working directly with the ensemble (with minimal instruction) to run and rehearse their tunes in 20 minute sets for refining tempos and arrangements as they build towards full preparedness to showcase in the next student SNAP. Students will receive minimal instructor guidance; nightly written comments/critique of process and materials and follow-up emails - suggestions for professional level development in: -Choice of materials / show flow -Communication with the band -Use of rehearsal time -Charts & Arrangements

WEDNESDAY 6:00pm

  • Intros and Endings
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Matt Endahl
    For Pianists and Guitarists-- a study of standard intros and endings for jazz tunes. Students will research and write their own intros and endings to share with the class. Learning these intros and endings will be essential for the performing musician.
  • 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 Harry Warren - A 6-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem and Liz Johnson Schafer
    Harry Warren was the first major American songwriter to write primarily for film. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song eleven times and won three Oscars for composing "Lullaby of Broadway", "You'll Never Know" and "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe". He wrote the music for the first blockbuster film musical 42nd Street. Over a career spanning four decades, Warren wrote over 800 songs. Other well-known Warren hits included "I Only Have Eyes for You", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "That's Amore", "The More I See You", "At Last" and "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" (the last of which was the first gold record in history). In this six week class, students will study and perform over 15 famous Warren compositions. Focus will be on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques and song forms. At the end of the six week session, students will perform with a trio.

WEDNESDAY 8:00pm

  • Advanced Vocal Styles & Lit: Ella Fitzgerald & Mel Torme - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Kevin Whalum and Liz Johnson Schafer
    A study of music associated with Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme. Class focuses on repertoire, stylistic approach, lyric interpretation and phrasing. Both of these artists were incredible at scatting. Students will also learn some famous scat solos from Ella and Mel. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

THURSDAY 6:00pm

  • Advanced Vocal Literature: French Chansons - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    This 12-week performance course for vocalists covers some of the most popular French jazz songs to cross the Atlantic. All songs will be sung in French, so some prior knowledge of the French language is recommended. Performers and composers covered will include Edith Piaf, Michel LeGrand, Yves Montand and Blossom Dearie. Songs will include "La vie en rose," "La mer" (Beyond The Sea), "Les feuilles mortes," (Autumn Leaves), and many others.
  • 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.

THURSDAY 8:00pm

No classes are currently scheduled for this time