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

ON SALE NOW:

The Beegie Adair Trio Saturday, April 28.

On sale starting Monday, April 23:

Cabaret w/ Robert Whorton, Thursday, May 3

The Spontaneous Comedy Company, Saturday, May 5

Wednesday, May 2 is The Big Payback, Middle Tennessee's community day of giving. Please show your support for the Nashville Jazz Workshop by making a donation! Details here.

 

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: April 16 to May 24
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

Monday 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.
  • 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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Harry Warren
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 15 famous compositions by Harry Warren, the first major American songwriter to write primarily for film. His songs include "Lullaby of Broadway," "You'll Never Know," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "The More I See You," and "At Last." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Warren's music. At the end of the six-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.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Alan & Marilyn Bergman - Part 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform the songs of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, whose award-winning songs include "What Matters Most," "Love Like Ours," "Moonlight," and "So Many Stars." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to the Bergmans' music. Part 2 of 2. At the end of the 12-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Five Great American Songbook literature classes and Chart Writing

Tuesday 12 pm

  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Harry Warren
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    Study and perform over 15 famous compositions by Harry Warren, the first major American songwriter to write primarily for film. His songs include "Lullaby of Broadway," "You'll Never Know," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "The More I See You," and "At Last." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Warren's music. At the end of the six-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing

Tuesday 6 pm

  • Intermediate Vocal Performance Techniques Part 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Connye Florance
    A continuation of Beginning Performance Techniques with more selective songs and longer sets.
  • 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.
  • The ii-V-I Progression
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Don Aliquo
    This class introduces the musician to the most important chord progression in jazz through a blend of patterns, ear training, analysis, and technique.

Tuesday 8 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 meaningful medleys, unique song interpretations, and witty parodies. At the end of the session, vocalists will perform a short four-song cabaret set.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing, Beginning Vocal Performance or permission of instructor.
  • Charles Mingus Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Don Aliquo
    Study and perform some of the great compositions and style of the Charles Mingus Ensemble. Students will explore some of Charles's most famous tunes, including "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," "Better Git it in Your Soul," "Jump Monk," "Fables of Faubus," and more.
    For trumpet, tenor, alto, baritone, trombone, and rhythm section.
    Intermediate to Advanced level suggested.

Wednesday 6 pm

  • Intro to Vocology (Vocal Health)
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson
    3 weeks - April 18, 25, May 2
    This class will explore the basics of vocal anatomy and physiology, different breathing techniques, and an array of simple mindfulness and voice exercises that singers can use to experience a lifetime of beautiful, effortless singing. Students will be encouraged (but not required) to sing jazz standards as part of this class, and to share their vocal experiences. Discover the elegant mechanics of the voice and how to apply this knowledge to the art of singing. 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.
  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Jonathan Wires
    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.
  • The Art of Phrasing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson
    3 weeks - May 9, 16, 23
    Students will learn to transform a lyric from the page into something instantly memorable. Exercises will involve tools such as back phrasing, singing over the bar line, and balancing long and short phrases. Students will also learn the speech level singing connection, which will enhance believability.
  • Vocal Literature: The Music of Harry Warren
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Study and perform over 15 famous compositions by Harry Warren, the first major American songwriter to write primarily for film. His songs include "Lullaby of Broadway," "You'll Never Know," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "The More I See You," and "At Last." In this class, you'll focus on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques, and song forms that apply to Warren's music. At the end of the six-week session, you will perform with an instrumental trio.
    Suggested Prerequisite: Introduction to Jazz Singing

Wednesday 8 pm

  • Rhythm Section Grooves
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem and Liz Johnson
    For Vocalists
    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: Introduction to Jazz Singing, Chart Writing and Musicianship for Vocalists
  • Rhythm Section Grooves for Instrumentalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    An important class for rhythm section players, this course explains the different rhythmic grooves or styles that a instrumentalist should know how to play: slow swing, ballad, medium swing, fast swing, straight ballad, swing ballad, jazz waltz, bossa nova, samba, mambo, cha-cha, bolero, rhumba funk, straight 8ths, straight 16ths, etc. Students will learn to recognize and play all of these styles with a better understanding of what each instrument does within each groove. (Suggested prerequisites: Small Ensemble, Comping for Pianists and Guitarists, Jazz Drumset )

Thursday 6 pm

  • Jazz in Film
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Beegie Adair
    Listening Masterclass with Beegie Adair. Thurs. May 17, 6-9pm. Tuition $50
    In this class, students will view and discuss a variety of jazz performances from theatrical releases, soundies (juke box films), television shows, and concert videos, spanning chronologically from the advent of film to the present time, and ranging stylistically from swing to mainstream, including instrumental, vocal, and dance performances.
  • Master Class
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Carolyn German
    Improv Comedy for the Musical Artist w/ Carolyn German. Thurs., April 26, 6-9pm. Tuition $50
    A class focused on special topics or skills, led by a master NJW vocal teacher. Topic will vary with the instructor.