New Music School Jazz Program

2019/2020 Season Information

Serious about jazz? NMS is happy to announce the expansion of our programs to include our first ever intensive jazz program! Lead by NMS World-Renowned Jazz Faculty and Guest Clinicians, your participation will include weekly Big Band Rehearsals, Jazz Theory Classes, and Jazz Seminars. Additionally, you will be placed in and rehearse weekly with one of two of our Jazz Combos: the Wynton Marsalis Jazz Combo and the Herbie Hancock Advanced Jazz Combo.

Students ages 13-18 who are serious about improving their jazz skills. This exclusive program is an auditioned ensemble (details below) with a fixed instrumentation of:

  • Trumpet (4)

  • Trombone (4)

  • Saxophone (5)

  • Drums (2)

  • Piano (2)

  • Guitar (2)

  • Bass (2)

  • Voice (2)

This program is designed for students to expand their jazz repertoire and to hone skills such as intonation, improv, theory, and collaboration. This program includes participation in our New Music School Big Band, Jazz Combos, Jazz Seminar, and Jazz Theory Class lead by our NMS Jazz Faculty. This is an auditioned group that performs regularly. Performance opportunities include:

  • NMS Jazz Showcase

  • Annual National Performance Tour

  • Local Performance Tour

  • Performance Classes and Masterclasses

September 2019 - May 2020
Jazz Seminars, Jazz Theory Classes, Big Band Rehearsals:

Sunday, September 8, 15, 22, 29
Sunday, October 6, 13, 20, 27
Sunday, November 3, 10, 17
Sunday, December 1, 8, 15
Sunday, January 5, 19, 26
Sunday, February 2, 9, 16, 23
Sunday, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Sunday, April 19, 26

Jazz Seminar: 3–4:30pm 
Jazz Theory Class: 4:30-5:15pm
Break: 5:15-6pm
Big Band Rehearsal: 6-8pm

Jazz Combo Rehearsals:

Tuesday, September 10, 17, 24
Tuesday, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Tuesday, November 5, 12, 19
Tuesday, December 3, 10, 17
Tuesday, January 14, 21, 28
Tuesday, February 4, 11, 25
Tuesday, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Tuesday, April 14, 21, 28

Wynton Marsalis Combo Rehearsal: 5-6:30pm
Herbie Hancock Combo Rehearsal: 6:30-7pm


Fall Jazz Showcase: Friday, December 20 at 7pm
Spring Jazz Showcase: Friday, May 1 at 7pm
Other Performances/Tours: TBA (additional rehearsals will be added)

Our jazz program is available for $2,000 for the entire year (scholarships available). This includes: 28 Weekly Big Band Rehearsals, 28 Jazz Theory Classes, 28 Jazz Seminars, and 28 Jazz Combo Rehearsals.

Jazz Faculty
Our Jazz Faculty consists of several of the top jazz musicians in Chicago. These world-class musicians will guide students every step of the way teaching concepts in jazz theory, collaboration, improvisation, and performing.

NMS Jazz Faculty:

  • Ivan Taylor, bass, jazz department chair - played with Kenny Garrett and Wynton Marsalis

  • Sharel Cassity, saxophone - played with Roy Hargrove and Lewis Nash

  • Victor Garcia, trumpet - played with Greg Osby and Rufus Reid 

  • Norman Palm, trombone - faculty at Roosevelt University, played with Ernest Dawkins 

  • Scott Hesse, guitar - played with Stafford James

  • Richard Johnson, piano - played with Wynton Marsalis

  • Katie Ernst, vocals - played with Tarus Mateen and Nasheet Waits 

  • George Fludas, drums - played with Ray Brown and Hank Jones 

Audition Requirements
The auditions will be held at New Music School at 900 N. Michigan Ave. 6th Floor on Saturday, August 3 and Sunday August 4. The dates and times of your audition will be emailed to you on July 28.

Audition Repertoire (music linked in titles):
Sandu (medium) - Key of Eb
Body and Soul (ballad) - Key of Db
Just In Time (medium up-tempo) - Key of C
*All keys are concert pitch—please transpose into the key appropriate for your instrument.*

Please prepare the head of each of these pieces and be prepared to solo over the changes.

Saxophonists, please bring any and all doubles you are able to play to your audition

Drummers, be prepared to play outline the melody with the soloist for Sandu and Just In Time. Also prepare the accompaniment for Body and Soul. You do not need to bring your own set, but please bring your own sticks, brushes, etc.

Bassists, you do not need to bring your own amp. Please prepare the melody line to Body and Soul and the accompaniment for Sandu and Just In Time.

The deadline for applying is Friday, July 27 by 8pm.

Student Name *
Student Name
Parent Name *
Parent Name
If you are a saxophonist, please specify which saxophone(s) and reed doubles you are able play. Check all that apply.
*Please note that we may not be able to accomodate all preference requests. Announcement of auditions days/times will be emailed out on July 28.

For any questions or concerns, please email
Jay Gummert, Operations and Programming Manager at jay@newmusicschool.com.