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 go on sale Monday, August 3 at 10am for the next Snap on 2&4 w/ Jeff Hall. Don't miss the return of this NJW favorite, featuring the release of his new CD!

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 the Chester Thompson Trio 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: July 27 - September 3
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

MONDAY 6:00pm

  • Beginning Jazz Improvisation 2
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roger Spencer
    A class focusing on the study of chords, scales, modes, simple patterns and harmonic structure. For all instruments.
  • 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 Jimmy Van Heusen - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Jimmy Van Heusen was inarguably one of the most accomplished songwriters in history. Claiming four "Oscars" and one Emmy award among his credits he also wrote more songs (85) recorded by Frank Sinatra, his long time friend, than any other composer. He also composed the songs for another good friend, Bing Crosby for six of the seven Crosby/Hope Road pictures. Most of his songs were written with two lyricist partners Johnny Burke (1940 to 1953) and then Sammy Cahn. Tunes such as "I Thought About You", "Here's That Rainy Day", "Like Someone in Love", "Come Fly With Me", "All the Way" and so many more made Van Heusen an instant success. In this twelve week class, students will study and perform over 22 famous Van Heusen compositions. Focus will be on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques and song forms. At the end of the twelve week session, students will perform with a trio.

MONDAY 8:00pm

  • Brazilian Percussion
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Dann Sherrill
    This class covers the major styles of Brazilian music and the associated styles, instruments, and techniques. Instruments include the Pandeiro, Ganza, Caxixi, Chekere, Surdo, Tamborim,Timbau & Repinique, Agogo, Caixa (Snare Drum), Berimbau, Atabaque, and Quica.
  • 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

  • Chart-Writing for Vocalists
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Christina Watson
    3-week course: Aug. 18, 25, Sept. 1
    A class covering the basics of notation and application to writing simple chord charts. Intros and endings to tunes are discussed. Prerequisite: Ear Training 1.
  • 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.
  • Modal Workout
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Don Aliquo
    3-week course: July 28, August 4, 11
    Focusing on modal tunes and modal sounds derived from melodic minor and "exotic" scales. This will include motivic development and some discussion of "color tones" and shapes derived from certain modal sounds and structures.

TUESDAY 8:00pm

  • Miles Davis Ensemble - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Rod McGaha
    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.
  • 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

  • Jazz Keyboard Voicings 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Matt Endahl
    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.
  • 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 Jimmy Van Heusen - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Lori Mechem
    Jimmy Van Heusen was inarguably one of the most accomplished songwriters in history. Claiming four "Oscars" and one Emmy award among his credits he also wrote more songs (85) recorded by Frank Sinatra, his long time friend, than any other composer. He also composed the songs for another good friend, Bing Crosby for six of the seven Crosby/Hope Road pictures. Most of his songs were written with two lyricist partners Johnny Burke (1940 to 1953) and then Sammy Cahn. Tunes such as "I Thought About You", "Here's That Rainy Day", "Like Someone in Love", "Come Fly With Me", "All the Way" and so many more made Van Heusen an instant success. In this twelve week class, students will study and perform over 22 famous Van Heusen compositions. Focus will be on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques and song forms. At the end of the twelve week session, students will perform with a trio.

WEDNESDAY 8:00pm

  • Advanced Vocal Literature: Special Topics
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Kevin Whalum
    Class will focus on songs associated with Nat King Cole
    A course for advanced singers focusing on a particular style, period, or music associated with a particular artist.
  • NJW Octet
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roy Agee
    Ensemble will play arrangements from Roy Agee's Double A Octet
    Ensemble with five horns and rhythm section, playing great arrangements!

THURSDAY 6:00pm

  • Complete Vocal Technique
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Sandra Dudley
    3-week course: August 20,27, Sept. 3
    This exciting and engaging class will feature a complete workout for the voice through exercises and literature. Students will bring in jazz standards and work on technique to gain confidence and control in all areas of their singing. Technical aspects will include breathing for singing, tone quality, energy and stamina, range, resonance, vibrato work, registration, and much more.
  • 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 Jimmy Van Heusen - A 12-Week Course
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Liz Johnson and Lori Mechem
    Jimmy Van Heusen was inarguably one of the most accomplished songwriters in history. Claiming four "Oscars" and one Emmy award among his credits he also wrote more songs (85) recorded by Frank Sinatra, his long time friend, than any other composer. He also composed the songs for another good friend, Bing Crosby for six of the seven Crosby/Hope Road pictures. Most of his songs were written with two lyricist partners Johnny Burke (1940 to 1953) and then Sammy Cahn. Tunes such as "I Thought About You", "Here's That Rainy Day", "Like Someone in Love", "Come Fly With Me", "All the Way" and so many more made Van Heusen an instant success. In this twelve week class, students will study and perform over 22 famous Van Heusen compositions. Focus will be on melody, phrasing, lyric content, stylistic considerations, arrangements, performance techniques and song forms. At the end of the twelve week session, students will perform with a trio.
  • World of Jazz Drummers w/ Chester Thompson
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Chester Thompson
    3-week course: July 30, Aug. 6, 13
    A listening class devoted to the styles of jazz drumming, taught by legendary drummer Chester Thompson. Learn how to listen to drums and gain a new appreciation of the nuances and textures of jazz drumming.

THURSDAY 8:00pm

No classes are currently scheduled for this time