Middle School Jazz Academy offers tuition-free instrumental jazz instruction to New York City middle school students. Students learn how to play jazz while emphasizing the importance of teamwork, creativity and self-expression, from members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and world-renowned jazz legends.
MSJA meets weekly from October through May, culminating with a public performance at the close of each semester. Activities take place on Saturdays, 9am to 5pm, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center's, Columbus Circle, and at the Bloomingdale School of Music, 323 W. 108th Street, Manhattan, NYC.
Every week, students attend Saturday morning Academy at JALC. In the afternoon, students receive a 45-minute private lesson from an MSJA faculty member at the Bloomingdale School of Music. The MSJA faculty is made up of accomplished jazz musicians who are deeply committed to connecting with today's youth through innovative teaching and mentoring techniques.
Students also have the opportunity to meet and learn from Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and world-renowned jazz legends during guest master classes each semester.
Participating MSJA students and their families are given tickets to attend performances and educational events at Jazz at Lincoln Center to supplement the curriculum and philosophy of MSJA.
Middle School Jazz Academy Brooklyn
Interested students are invited to submit an application, letter of recommendation from their band instructor/music teacher, parent income verification and attend a live audition.
Application Deadline: May 31, 2013
For more information or questions
Born in Brooklyn, New York, saxophonist Jimmy Cozier has recorded with Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, Bill Doggett, Mongo Santamaria, Grover Washington, Cassandra Wilson, Sam Rivers, and the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. He has appeared at major Jazz Festivals throughout the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean, and has performed for the Queen of Holland and the late King Hassan of Morocco. Cozier is the author of The Jazz Improviser’s Woodshed Volume 1—Scale Studies/Chord Exercises and The Jazz Improviser’s Woodshed Volume 2—Chord Progressions, and is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant.
Renowned baritone saxophonist Claire Daly is a six-time winner of the DownBeat Critic's Poll—Rising Star. She studied with Joe Viola at Berklee College of Music and has performed worldwide. Her first CD as a leader, Swing Low (Koch), featuring MSJA Director Eli Yamin, is in the William Jefferson Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, as a work of significance to Mr. Clinton during his presidency. Her most recent CD, Mary Joyce Project: Nothing To Lose, a tribute to an Alaskan journey made by a relative in the 1930s, was released in 2011. Ms. Daly lives and teaches in New York City.
Guitarist Tom Dempsey has performed and/or recorded with a virtual "Who’s Who" of world renowned jazz musicians including Jim Hall, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Tal Farlow, Buddy Montgomery, George Coleman, Kenny Barron, Roy Haynes, Jack McDuff, Bobby McFerrin, Gerald Wilson, Mel Torme, Richard Wyands, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Dave Brubeck. He has recorded four CDs as a leader: What’s Going On (City Tone Records), Perspectives (Imaginary Records), Blues In The Slope (Igmod Records), and If Only We Knew. Dempsey has also appeared as a sideman on many recordings. He has made numerous appearances on New York radio and television, including performances on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Sex and the City, and WQXR radio. Dempsey has also performed for many Broadway shows including Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk; The Lion King; Aida; Beauty and the Beast and Mamma Mia. In recent years, Dempsey has taught at Jazz at Lincoln Center, SUNY New Paltz, Rutgers University, and as Artistic Director of the Jazz Summit at the National Guitar Workshop. His books‚ Jazz Eras for Guitar‚ Easy Soloing for Jazz Guitar, Sight-Reading for the Contemporary Guitarist, and Classic Jazz Styles for Guitar are available through Alfred Music and Workshop Arts. Dempsey has also recorded over 170 online lessons for WorkshopLive.com covering jazz guitar performance, repertoire development and music theory. Dempsey received his bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and earned his master’s degree in jazz/commercial music at Manhattan School of Music.
Mary Ann McSweeney
Bassist, composer, arranger and clinician Mary Ann McSweeney has worked professionally with Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Konitz, Bucky Pizzarelli and the New York Nonet. She has performed across Europe and the U.S. with David Krakouer’s Klezmer Madness and singer Audra McDonald. McSweeney has released two albums under her own name and produced and played on Mike Fahn Quintets’ 2006 release East and West (Sparky 1 Productions). She has had adjunct positions at New Jersey City University, El Camino College and Harbor College. She currently enjoys teaching at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy.
Joshua Renick received his PhD in education from the Program of Music and Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where for three years he also served as the director of student teaching. A native of San Francisco, Joshua is a graduate of San Francisco State University, earning a B.A. in United States history and a minor in music performance (saxophone). In addition to his work at Teachers College, he also taught for four years in WeBop, the early childhood music education program at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Before arriving in New York City in the fall of 2004 to begin his studies at Teachers College, Joshua taught elementary general music and junior high school instrumental music for six years in the Ross Valley School District in Marin County, California. He is currently Director of Bands and General Music at Middle School 219, New Venture Academy.
LaFrae Sci moved to New York City in 2000 to pursue her music career as a drummer. Since then, she has participated in countless workshops, both locally and overseas, that foster jazz education. She has toured France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, and other countries with noted artists. Before moving to New York, Sci was the program director for Instrument for Kids, a program sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Jazz Society. Sci graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Theory and Economics from Oberlin College in Ohio.
Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy and Artistic Director of The Jazz Drama Program, Eli Yamin is a jazz pianist, composer, educator, broadcaster, bandleader, and Steinway artist. His joyful, imaginative and swinging piano playing has led him to perform at top concert halls and festivals in the United States, Europe, Mali, China, Japan and India, where he recently led a three-week tour with his quartet, in collaboration with top Indian artists and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. As a leading educator and professional jazz advocate passionately committed to expanding the jazz audience, Yamin teaches jazz worldwide to business leaders, middle school students, music teachers, college professors and performing artists. He is a consultant for The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad, produced with the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for the Arts, Fordham University Graduate School of Business and WBGO Radio. Yamin’s six jazz musicals for children have been performed for thousands by hundreds of young people. They include Message From Saturn, about the healing power of the blues, and Nora’s Ark, a modern retelling of the biblical tale. He has recorded numerous CD's including You Can’t Buy Swing (2008) with his own quartet and Suns of Cosmic Consciousness (2005) with the group Solar. Yamin has played, recorded and taught with Barry Harris, Illinois Jacquet, Wynton Marsalis, Walter Perkins, Perry Robinson, Kate McGarry, Claire Daly and Bob Stewart. He holds a master's degree in music education from City University of New York and has appeared on CBS Saturday Morning, PBS, Fox News and National Public Radio.