JCC Jazz Program
Debbie Keefe Johns, jazz program director
The JCC Jazz Program includes private lessons, classes, and coachings and performances for both small combo and big band ensembles. Study jazz and improvisation in a friendly, relaxed, and encouraging environment with professional jazz musicians.
The Thurnauer Jazz Big Band
Co-directed by Debbie Keefe Johns and Steve Johns
For middle and high school students with at least two years instrumental experience
Sundays 4-6 p.m. By audition and or teacher recommendation.
This ensemble offers young musicians an opportunity to study and perform various styles of jazz big band repertoire and improvisation including swing, blues, bebop, Latin and jazz rock. Participants will have full ensemble and sectional rehearsals including public performances.
Big Band Instrumentation
Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Baritone, Tuba
Piano, Bass, Drums/Percussion/Vibraphone, Guitar
Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello
Be prepared to play a 12-bar blues melody (improvisation is optional) of your choice in the key of Concert F or Bb, and Blue Bossa by Kenny Durham in the key of C minor (Piano; chords and melody); major scales: we will pick two scales from the following keys: C, F Bb, Eb, G, D, A - and chromatic scale (Piano: two hands); sight reading; rudiments for drummers.
JCC Jazz Program for ages 12-18, beginner to advanced
Steve Johns, percussion
Michael Cochrane, piano
Brian Glassman, bass
Combo Rehearsals 6:30pm-7:30pm
Our small jazz combos are the core of our Jazz Program. Each student will be placed in a combo of four to six students of similar experience and skill, plus one faculty member. Students will learn jazz compositions by ear and through reading, study basic and advanced improvisation skills, be encouraged to improvise a solo, and have an opportunity to perform every day in our Performance Forum.
Performance Forum 7:30 p.m. - 8:15pm
This is a daily performance opportunity and mini-concert with a casual atmosphere. Combos are encouraged to perform every day, and the class also provides an opportunity for faculty to demonstrate through performances, for students to form ad-hoc ensembles, and for ad-hoc student-faculty groups to perform.
Jazz Program for Adults
for ages 19 and up, beginner to advanced
Wednesday Afternoons or Evenings (times to be arranged)
*total registration must meet or exceed eight students for Performance Forum. If we have fewer than eight students, Combo Rehearsal will be extended from 4:15 to 5 p.m.
The faculty and students perform monthly concerts on selected Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at the JCC. These will be more formal concerts than the mini-concerts in Performance Forum.
Our world-class faculty of professional jazz musicians offers private lessons on piano, bass, guitar, trumpet, percussion and more. Study jazz improvisation, jazz history, and the basic and advanced skills on your instrument with our incredible group of teachers.
Call the music school at 201.408.1465 for more information or to set up an audition and interview.