Teaching the next generation of jazz musicians is a great responsibility and a great joy. 

Eight years ago, the Nashville Jazz Workshop started a Summer Jazz Camp for middle and high school-age instrumental and vocal students. Interest was overwhelming, and it was a delight to see the amount of progress these young artists made over the course of a week and when they returned the following year. When numbers  outgrew the NJW space, Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music stepped up to donate their marvelous facility, where the camp has operated for the past four years, up until the pandemic.

Grammy-winning saxaphonist and longtime Nashville Jazz Workshop faculty member Jeff Coffin playing with Workshop students.

The camp covers all aspects of jazz: improvisation, theory, listening, literature, technique, and ensemble. Students are enthusiastic; many return year after year, win honors at their schools and across the state, and go on to prestigious music programs around the country.

The NJW also offers a scholarship program providing lessons with master teachers for students with financial need.

The educational and mentoring experiences in these programs have been life-changing for many young students who otherwise would not have had such opportunities. Support from generous donors makes this all possible, along with support from the Billy Strayhorn Foundation, Van Heusen Music, and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Together these programs make up the Stephen McRedmond Young Artist Program, directed by saxophonist Evan Cobb. The program is named in honor of the late Stephen McRedmond, owner of our former home at the Neuhoff Complex and a major benefactor of the Nashville Jazz Workshop. Stephen was passionate about helping young people and constantly encouraged us to offer more programs for them. The Young Artist Program is a fitting tribute to a dear friend.

Lessons are continuing virtually, and we look forward to the end of the pandemic when both lessons and camp can be held in-person!