Virtual Workshops Designed for Jazz Musicians of All Ages and Skill Levels

The Nash

The Nash announces its 2020 Summer Workshops, geared to develop jazz musicians of all backgrounds and skill sets. The roster is comprised of all virtual workshops led by professional jazz musicians through online Zoom sessions.

Instructors for The Nash Summer Workshops include Lewis Nash, Dmitri Matheny, Dennis Rowland, Ben Hedquist, Pam Morita, Mike Kocour, Russell Schmidt, Eric Rasmussen, Greg Amerind, Adam Roberts, Raul Yanez and Zach Wiggins.

Most workshops are $150 with registration open now at

The Nash is also continuing its “Get Jazz Smart” online classes, led by Jeff Libman, Clinical Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Arizona State University. Classes are held via Zoom and are $25 per household. Summer “Get Jazz Smart” classes explore Bossa Nova, Modal Jazz and Fusion.

For more information on The Nash and to view the full schedule of events and its jazz programs visit

The Nash 2020 Summer Jazz Workshops

Jazz Bass Workshop with Dr. Ben Hedquist – May 26-29 (Tue-Fri 10 – 11:30 am)

With a focus on bass line construction, the role of the bass within a rhythm section and technical elements of the instrument, the Jazz Bass Workshop will give bassists the skills they need to groove and function effectively in a live musical situation. This workshop will cover different approaches to walking, creating melodic bass lines, and ways to groove hard within a rhythm section. Open to all students (upright OR electric bass) with at least two years of experience

Improvisation Essentials Workshop with Pam Morita – May 26-May 29 (Tue-Fri 1 – 2:30 pm)

Contrary to common belief, jazz improvisation is a learned skill. It is a language developed over time, which involves listening, imitation, speaking small phrases, and eventually sentences that have a deeper meaning. The Improvisation Essentials Workshop will explore these ideas and help students learn to use them over the harmonic structure of scales, arpeggios, and chords so that we can begin to speak the language of jazz. No prior experience of playing jazz is required, but knowledge of major scales and chords in all keys is helpful. Open to all ages and experience levels.

Beyond Acoustic Jazz: Technology for Practice, Composition & Performance with Adam Roberts – June 1-5 (10 – 11:30 am)

Beginning with fusion, Jazz has embraced technology for its possibilities in sound creation, and modern musicians have access to more options than ever before. This workshop will show you how to use technology in practice (tools include Ableton Live and various practice apps), and in performance (effects processing and Ableton Live). Inspired by the work of Kneebody, Ingrid Jensen, John Scofield, and Donny McCaslin, experiences will include a how-to for building an effects rig, an effects petting zoo, exploring compositional devices, and developing arrangements of tunes or original compositions designed to support effects processing. Open to all ages and experience levels

Trad Jazz Workshop with Zach Wiggins – June 1-5 (1 – 2:30 pm)

Working in small and large group settings, the Trad Jazz Workshop focuses on music from the New Orleans tradition made popular by artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet and Bix Beiderbecke. The Trad Jazz Workshop will be a fun and exciting exploration of the music of ragtime, early swing, hot jazz, and more. Open to all students with at least 2 years of experience on their instrument.

Jazz Composition Workshop with Russell Schmidt June 8-12 (10-11:30 am)

With a focus on composing new music, as well as learning basic scoring techniques, the Jazz Composition Workshop will jump start individual creativity in both novice and experienced writers. The program will explore harmonization and reharmonization techniques, conceptual and motivic development, and various approaches to initiate the fresh ideas that grow into fully-formed compositions. Students of all levels are welcome, but a thorough understanding of chord symbols is a prerequisite.

Bebop Workshop with Mike Kocour – June 8-12 (1 – 2:30 pm)

This workshop explores the jazz line characteristics of artists such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, Barry Harris and more. Taught by Arizona State University’s Director of Jazz Studies, pianist, composer, and arranger Mike Kocour, the Bebop Workshop offers an intensive jazz experience for those wishing to explore this aspect of jazz improvisation and composition. This educational experience will include lots of singing, listening, writing and some instrumental performance. Open to intermediate (3+ years in jazz) and advanced experience levels.

Music in the Digital Age: A Musician’s Tool kit with Dmitri Matheny –June 15

(Tue 3-4:30 pm) $25 for workshop

This concentrated workshop is designed to help musicians not only survive but thrive in today’s music business. Matheny shares dozens of secrets, strategies, tips and tricks from his productive career, including how to: cultivate a creative and entrepreneurial mindset; develop successful concert, club and festival tours; effectively use social media, digital resources and emerging technologies; get publicity; acquire fans, sell music online; and more. In conclusion, Matheny explains how to balance and manage business details while staying focused on your important work as an artist. This workshop includes downloadable materials to help you be successful. Recommended for professional musicians and aspiring students.

Latin Jazz Workshop with Raúl Yañez – June 15-19 (1 – 2:30 pm)

The Latin Jazz Workshop will be focusing on Afro-Cuban Jazz, Salsa and Mambo literature made popular by artists such as Mario Bauza, Machito, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente and Chucho Valdéz. Under the direction of master musician and teacher Raúl Yañez, this workshop is an inspiring and culturally enriching musical experience. Students in this workshop will learn about the different styles, gain a historical perspective, engage in guided listening, and learn improvising tools to match the genre. Open to all students and Latin Jazz fans.

Odd Meter Workshop with Eric Rasmussen – June 22-26 (1 – 2:30 pm)

Playing in “odd meters” is now standard procedure for modern musicians and especially jazz improvisers. This workshop will focus on tips and tricks to get you comfortable playing in 3/4, 5/4, 7/4, 5/8 and 7/8 over jazz standards and other song forms. The workshop will also focus on playing over the bar line in 4/4 and expanding your rhythmic palette. Open to intermediate to advanced level students that are comfortable improvising in common meters. 

Behind the Grooves with Lewis Nash – June 23-24, 30, July 1 (Tue-Wed 3 – 4:30 pm)

Join jazz legend Lewis Nash for a fun and informative journey through his recording career, from the early 1980s to the present. Mr. Nash – whose 500+ discography includes 10 Grammy winners and numerous Grammy nominees – will choose from sessions with legendary jazz giants like McCoy Tyner, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Horace Silver, Art Farmer, Jim Hall, Betty Carter, Clark Terry to put under the “listening microscope” and share fascinating behind the scenes stories about their making. Mr. Nash will recall memorable moments, highlights from the actual recording process, musical choices made during the session, how arrangements evolved, physical set ups, listening to playbacks, lessons learned in the studio and more. As Mr. Nash’s students can attest: you never know what jazz legend might ‘zoom’ into one of these workshop sessions! Highly recommended for all jazz students, musicians, educators, fans and aficionados.

Vocal Jazz Workshop with Dennis Rowland June 29-July 3 and July 6-10 (1 – 2:30 pm)

The Vocal Jazz Workshops will focus on the vocalist’s role in a jazz ensemble. Through performance, vocalists and instrumentalists will explore the basics of what to listen for when performing with an ensemble, how to choose tunes and keys, intros and endings, improvisation and vocal techniques. Open to all ages and experience levels. Note: This workshop will take place at The Nash, contingent upon AZDHS guidelines at the time. See website listing for further details.

Vocal Improvisation Workshop with Dr. Greg Amerind July 13-17 (1 – 2:30 pm)

The voice is as much a musical instrument as piano, guitar or saxophone, and a true jazz vocalist must approach their instrument and training in the same way as any other jazz musician. That is what the Vocal Improvisation Workshop is all about: how do vocalists become more accomplished jazz musicians? Students will learn some basic music theory and practice phrasing, runs and licks, and scat syllables, using blues and other common jazz song forms. Whether you have already begun exploring this aspect of jazz, or are just discovering the masters of “scat singing” and want to learn how to sing like Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé or Bobby McFerrin, this is the workshop for you.

Get Jazz Smart! Online classes with ASU’s Jeff Libman

$25 per household, Zoom link sent upon registration

Get Jazz Smart with Jeff Libman – May 27 & June 3 (12:00-1:30 pm)

Bossa Nova Emerging in the 1950s and garnering worldwide fame in the 1960s, bossa nova combined Brazilian samba and American jazz to become a style all its own. Replete with poetic lyrics, memorable melodies, rich harmony, and quiet intimacy, bossa nova songs possess both beauty and depth. Come learn about the music of Luiz Bonfá, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Astrud and João Gilberto, and more. This class is intended for jazz aficionados and those who would like to learn more about jazz! Instruments not required! The class will consist primarily of active listening to exemplary recordings with interspersed guided discussion.

Get Jazz Smart – Jeff Libman June 10 & 17 (12:00 – 1:30 pm)

Modal Jazz Released in 1959, Miles Davis’ landmark album Kind of Blue helped to establish modal jazz, in which musicians moved beyond the familiar chord progressions of the American Songbook to embrace new possibilities in harmony. What followed was a burst of colorful, imaginative compositions that provided the basis for some of the greatest jazz ever recorded. In addition to Davis, come learn about the music of John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, and more. This class is intended for jazz aficionados and those who would like to learn more about jazz! Instruments not required! The class will consist primarily of active listening to exemplary recordings with interspersed guided discussion.

Get Jazz Smart – Jeff Libman June 24 & July 1 (12:00 – 1:30 pm)

Fusion ASU Professor of Jazz Studies Dr. Jeff Libman will examine jazz rock fusion. This jazz sub-genre, emerging in the late 1960s, saw jazz musicians embracing electric instruments as well as funk and rock rhythmic styles. The class will consist primarily of guided discussion, active listening to exemplary recordings, and a question and answer session. No instruments required! Come learn about and listen to the music of Miles Davis, Chick Corea, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, and more.

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