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 at 10am for the next two performances in the Jazz Cave: Snap on 2&4 w/ Chris West Friday July 10, and the special appearance of Choro das três July 18.

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: June 8 - July 16
Please visit our class schedule page for registration & payment information

MONDAY 6:00pm

  • Beginning Jazz Improvisation
    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

  • 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

  • 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.
  • The Art of Phrasing
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Sandra Dudley
    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.
  • The Essence of Brushwork
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Josh Hunt
    A class focuing on all the necessary time keeping patterns, and on new and useful brush techniques to help the execution of the time and solo work. Students will also focus on sound and its purpose.

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
  • The Music & Guitar Stylings of John Scofield
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Matt MacDougall
    This course explores the characteristic guitar style of John Scofield- specifically his rock and blues influence, post-bop language, sound effects, and more. These techniques and harmonic concepts will be taught primarily through written transcription and analysis, but also through listening to recordings and the instructor's pre-transcribed content. His characteristic techniques will be applied to the improvised sections of both Scofield's original tunes and to some standard jazz chord progressions in an interactive ensemble setting.

WEDNESDAY 6:00pm

  • 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

  • Small Ensemble
    Course Summary | Instructor(s):
    A class made up of a quartet or quintet. Materials covered include literature, intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping.
  • Vocal Improvisation 1
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Kevin Whalum
    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

THURSDAY 6:00pm

  • Beginning Arranging
    Course Summary | Instructor(s): Roy Agee
    An introduction to arranging for a small group. The class begins with lead sheets and trio arrangements, progressing to arrangements for horns.
  • 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.

THURSDAY 8:00pm

No classes are currently scheduled for this time