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Adult Jazzschool

Jazzschool Community Music School

jazzschool community music school

The Jazzschool Community Music School (JCMS) is dedicated to the study and performance of jazz and related styles of music from around the world. There are dozens of exciting and fun options for both instrumentalists and vocalists of all ages and skill levels. The JCMS operates year-round on a quarterly basis, normally ten weeks during the fall and winter, nine weeks in the spring and two 3-week sessions in the summer.

Performance Ensembles

JCMS performance ensembles delve into a wide range of styles including jazz (standards, hard-bop, post-bop, fusion), Latin jazz, Brazilian, blues, R&B, funk and even Balkan (eastern European). Ensembles are available for instrumentalists and vocalists at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Groups range in size from the trio to the big band. A placement audition is required.

Instrumental Courses

JCMS instrumental courses provide study of a specific instrument in a group setting. Courses are available for saxophone, harmonica, piano/keyboard, guitar, bass and drums/percussion. Instruction is available for beginners (covering basic technique and instrumental skills) and also for more advanced players (focused on jazz style, harmony, improvisation and more).

Theory, Improvisation and Composition

Instrumentalists and vocalists are encouraged to take courses in theory, improvisation, ear training, composition and arranging, music production, music business and others.

Vocal Courses

JCMS vocal courses provide an opportunity for singers at all levels to improve style and technique in a group setting. Performance courses are offered in jazz, Latin, blues, R&B and pop genres. Complete beginners, singers returning to music, and more advanced vocalists can all find courses appropriate for their interests.

Jazzschool Young Musicians Program

The JYMP offers a range of courses for middle and high school students. JYMP ensembles are available for beginning, intermediate and advanced instrumentalists. The program includes small groups focused on improvisation and big bands that delve into style and repertoire. JYMP ensembles have repeatedly taken DownBeat student music awards and been honored at prestigious jazz festivals in the US and abroad. A placement audition is required.


For instrumentalists and vocalists who prefer a short-term commitment, JCMS workshops provide intensive instruction in a single two- or three-hour session. Led by visiting artists and JCMS faculty, workshops typically focus on a specific aspect of jazz, such as music transcription techniques or the art of vocal accompaniment. Prominent musicians including Richie Beirach, Gretchen Parlato, Taylor Eigsti, Mike Clark and others have taught past workshops.


A distinguished faculty of professional musicians and educators leads JCMS courses and workshops. Our educators have played with some of the music world’s biggest names, including Sting, Pat Metheny, Joe Henderson, Ray Charles, Dave Liebman, Carlos Santana, McCoy Tyner, Pete Escovedo, Diana Krall, Eddie Palmieri, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, Joey DeFrancesco, Bobby Hutcherson, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder and countless others.


JCMS class size is limited and most courses are available on a first-come first-served basis. We encourage you to register early and guarantee your spot! You can enroll online or call 510.845.5373.


JCMS Spring Catalog
The Word

“I like the Jazzschool because the faculty is top notch. My bandmates have commented on how my playing has improved.”

— Luis Rojas