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New England Conservatory’s Jazz Lab

Jazzed Magazine • News • February 24, 2017

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Turtle Studio. Philadleophia, Pa. Sept. 5, 2014.
Photo by Michael Perez

Students ages 14–18 are invited to spend a week in Boston with some of the best musicians in the country at New England Conservatory’s Jazz Lab. The program is a one-week intensive for students from throughout the United States and abroad. Instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome, as are small ensembles.  No pre-audition is required.  Jazz Lab takes place Sunday, June 25 – Friday, June 30, 2017. Both day and overnight students are welcome.

New England Conservatory’s Jazz Lab faculty this year includes The Bad Plus: Ethan Iverson, Alex Brown, Jason Palmer, Ken Schaphorst, David Zoffer, Rick McLaughlin and Artistic Director, Tim Lienhard

During Jazz Lab students surround themselves with like-minded musicians and take their jazz training to the next level.  Unlike many other summer jazz programs, NEC’s Jazz Lab offers both an intimate setting for learning combined with the rich urban landscape of Boston.  Students work with NEC’s premier jazz faculty and participate in a curriculum full of improvisation, small group training, jam sessions, entrepreneurial workshops and college audition prep. This year’s program will be headlined by a day-long residency with The Bad Plus.

Jazz Lab faculty include NEC Jazz Studies Department Chair Ken Schaphorst, pianist David Zoffer, bassist Rick McLaughlin and trombonist/Jazz Lab Artistic Director Tim Lienhard. This year’s renowned guest artists, The Bad Plus, Alex Brown, and Jason Palmer will not only have an impact on participants through their innovative teaching, but with their spectacular performances throughout the week.

In addition to daily theory/improvisation classes, small ensemble coaching, and one on one instruction, Jazz Lab will feature seminars in entrepreneurship and training for careers in music. NEC jazz alumni talk about what it takes to promote music, produce concerts, build a private teaching studio and find success as a 21st century jazz musician. Faculty will also instruct students on applying to conservatories, schools of music and universities; what to look for in potential colleges and techniques for a successful audition.

Tuition is $945, which includes all classes, nightly faculty concerts, jam sessions, one private lesson with faculty, t-shirt, lunch and dinner daily (dietary needs are accommodated).  Overnight students pay an additional $545 for five nights’ housing, including daily breakfast. For more information about or to register for this dynamic program, visit  Questions?  Contact:

NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur “genius” grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who’s who of jazz. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: “NEC’s jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni.”

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