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Music Institute Chicago Jazz Teens

Audrey Morrison, Jazz Studies Program Director

The Music Institute of Chicago's jazz faculty, comprised of some of Chicago's most respected jazz musicians, brings a deep knowledge of the current jazz scene and jazz history into every class and lesson. MIC youth and adult students hone their skill and style development as they learn to play by ear and improvise. MIC middle and high school jazz students become leaders in their school jazz programs and students of all ages enjoy performance opportunities at Nichols Concert Hall as well as community venues. Each summer, monthly Jazz Jam Sessions are open to players and listeners alike, and Summer Jazz Camps focus on big band playing and improvisation.

Jazz performances presented at Nichols Concert Hall offer an outstanding opportunity for both Music Institute students and the larger community to hear some of the finest players on the scene alongside MIC jazz faculty. Past headliners have included pianist Marcus Roberts; clarinetists Paquito D'Rivera and Victor Goines; trumpeter Terell Stafford; saxophonist Charles McPherson; and vocalists Tammy McCann and Dee Dee Bridgewater, among others.

Jazz Combo

Private Jazz Instruction

Develop and refine jazz skills through lessons with some of Chicago's finest jazz musicians. Private jazz lessons are available for piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, drum kit, vibraphone, percussion, violin, viola, cello, string bass, guitar, voice, and electric bass.

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Jazz Combos & Improvisation Classes

Beginning  - Intermediate - Advanced levels available

Practice improvising in many styles of jazz, including swing, blues, bebop, New Orleans, Latin and contemporary. Emphasis will include learning jazz standards and will provide the opportunity to perform original compositions. Learn to interpret great jazz recordings through listening and imitation. Increase your knowledge of jazz theory and jazz history and enhance your creativity through “playing by ear” on your instrument. 

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Creative Improv for String Players (ages 11-15)

Improve your ensemble, improvisational and sight-reading skills. Participants will play by ear as well as read jazz arrangements and will learn to interpret great recordings through listening and imitation. Jazz styles will range from New Orleans to Swing, Bebop, Latin, Modal and Fusion.

Phone consultation required for jazz combos and improv classes. Apply now and Audrey Morrison, Director of Jazz Studies will contact you regarding placement.

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Listening to Music: A Selective Survey of Human Musical Expression (ADULTS)

Come and experience a survey of musical expression across many genres (jazz, classical, rock, R&B, blues, folk, Latin and more) and cultures from around the world with pianist, and composer, Fred Simon. This class will emphasize the multitude of connections between genres, cultures, and eras and will also illuminate women's contributions to all styles. Hear quintessential and influential recordings of each genre with guided discussion.

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SUMMER CAMP:  Art of the Jazz Band

Session I: June 10-14, 2024 (grades 7-10)

Registration Deadline: June 3, 2024  (Registrations will be accepted after the deadline, as space allows.)

Session II: June 24-June 28, 2024 (grades 6-9)

Registration Deadline: June 17, 2024  (Registrations will be accepted after the deadline, as space allows.)

Improve your ensemble, improvisational, and sight-reading skills through work with some of Chicago's finest jazz performers and educators. Saxophonist Juli Wood leads interactive rehearsals, and members of the MIC jazz faculty offer sectionals, coaching, and master classes. Group listening to jazz recordings and class discussion are included. Participants will learn how to read jazz arrangements and play by ear. The week will culminate with an open rehearsal for family and friends on the final day of camp.

Daily Schedule
1:30 – 2:30 PM     Group Rehearsalreading jazz music and learning tunes by ear;
                                 studying jazz scales and theory and different approaches to improvisation.

2:30 – 3:30 PM     Master Classes/Sectionalswith MIC Jazz Faculty
3:30 – 4:00 PM     Group Rehearsal & Guided Listening Session
                                  Open Rehearsal on the last day of camp - Friday at 2:30 PM | Nichols Concert Hall

•    Proficiency on instrument and ability to play at least 3 major scales from memory.
•    One year of jazz ensemble experience or private lessons which include jazz is preferred.
•    Listening to jazz is encouraged.
•    Phone interview required prior to registration.

Location: Evanston East Campus
Days/Times:  Monday-Friday from 1:30 – 4:00 PM
Faculty: MIC jazz faculty and guest artists
Cost:  $275 per session; register for one or both sessions
Questions? Contact Jazz Studies Director, Audrey Morrison


James Davis

Trumpet Faculty (Jazz)

Jeremy Kahn

Piano Faculty (Suzuki and Jazz)

Deborah Knowles

Percussion Faculty, Jazz Studies

Audrey Morrison

Director of Jazz Studies and Jazz Trombone Faculty

Stephen Ramsdell

Guitar Faculty

James Sanders

Violin Faculty

Darren Scorza

Percussion Faculty

Fred Simon

Jazz, Piano, and Musicianship Faculty

Juli Wood

Jazz Saxophone and Jazz Vocals Faculty

Upcoming Events

Summer Jazz Jams

Summer Jazz Jams

Summer Jazz Jams