Creative Jazz Institute
July 9 – July 21 (2 weeks)
The Kimmel Center and the University of the Arts present Philly's Creative Jazz Institute, a dynamic two-week intensive, where instrumentalists and vocalists explore technique, repertoire, and performance while interacting with master-level artists. Using jazz as a framework, you'll work with UArts faculty and industry masters to uncover a range of possibilities through jam sessions and ensembles, with an emphasis on improvisation and performance.
This program utilizes the Kimmel Center's world-class facilities and the UArts campus for this generation's brightest young jazz talents to gain invaluable experience in a creative live performance setting. Philadelphia has deep-seated jazz roots, making the city the perfect place for you to explore jazz music.
The curriculum is designed for motivated 6th - 12th-grade students*. During the program, you'll work with Artists-in-Residence, attend daily master classes, and collaborate with Dance and Music Business students. You'll also participate in ensembles, jam sessions, special concerts, and trips throughout Philadelphia to experience live music.
By the end of the program, you'll have new skills and performance chops, as well as experience working alongside a variety of professional musicians. The program culminates in a free concert performance for family, friends, and peers in the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. High school students earn 3 college credits *.
*Note: Unlike the other programs in the Summer Institute, the Creative Jazz Institute is open to 6th through 12th graders. Only rising 11th - 12th-grade students may reside on campus. 6th - 10th-grade students may apply as commuters. Only high school students will receive college credit.
The Creative Jazz Institute curriculum is designed for motivated students who want to push their musicianship to a level beyond the band room. By the end of the program, you’ll not only have new skills and performance chops, you’ll also have an expanded understanding of jazz’s contribution to contemporary music.
Work with UArts faculty in small instrument groups to improve technique, phrasing, interpretation, improvisation and sight-reading skills on your primary instrument.
Led by the Artists-in-Residence and their accompanying teams, small ensembles include four to six classmates on various instruments working together on composition, arrangement, and improvisation, with both legacy and newly composed repertoire. The goal is to prepare their piece for performance at the final concert.
Students will have the opportunity to audition for the Creative Jazz Institute Big Band or Choir. These two large ensembles offer students the unique experience of performing, phrasing, and harmonizing within large sections. Featuring a variety of both original and legacy repertoire, and led by our Artists in Residence and their teams, students will work on rhythm, sight reading, conduction, collective improvisation, large group dynamics, and more. The goal is to prepare repertoire for performance at the Friday evening concert.
Learn directly from some of the most recognized and established innovators in today’s jazz scene. Each day a different master artist presents a unique 90-minute workshop covering a variety of skills and knowledge essential to the budding jazz musician. A selection of master class artists will also present 60-minute instrument specific classes that are optional for students.
Each session is led by a different “house band” made up of UArts’ most experienced faculty. Daily jam sessions allow students the opportunity to interact with and perform for their peers, putting many of their newly acquired techniques and approaches into practice. Students will also receive on-the-spot feedback from faculty ensembles.
Students in the Creative Jazz Institute work with professional musicians. The majority of our faculty teach in the degree programs at UArts. Our expert instructors are seasoned educators and dedicated artists who enjoy the opportunity to share their expertise and collaborate with the next generation of musicians.
Past Guest Artists
- Ralph Alessi
- Marcus Belgrave
- Wayne Bergeron
- Brian Blade
- Randy Brecker
- Jimmy Bruno
- Steve Coleman
- Robin Eubanks
- Dwayne Eubanks
- Orrin Evans
- Jonathan Finlayson
- Matt Garrison
- Maria Grand
- Doug Hammond
- Gregory Hutchinson
- Vijay Iyer
- Joe Magnarelli
- Rudresh Mahanthappa
- Pat Martino
- Wayne Krantz
- Linda Oh
- Joanna Pascale
- John Patitucci
- Dafnis Prieto
- Venissa Santi
- Tyshawn Sorey
- John Swana
- Sumi Tanooka
- Gerald Veasley
All Creative Jazz Institute applicants are asked to submit:
- A completed Summer Institute application form.
Audition You may submit an audition digitally via YouTube or Vimeo link - or - audition in person.
Students are accepted into the program in one of the following performance areas: Bass (upright or electric), Clarinet, Drum Set, Flute, Guitar, Percussion (African, Latin, etc.), Piano, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Vibraphone, or Voice.
Audition Requirements: A prepared 1-2 minute piece that demonstrates a range of technical and improvisational abilities + a sight reading exercise. View instructions
In-Person Auditions: If you plan to audition in-person, please indicate this on your application. Schedule an in-person audition time during our Open House or on Saturday, May 5 in Philadelphia (email email@example.com).
- A non-refundable deposit of $250*. The deposit will be returned only if a student is denied admission.
Note: Unlike the other programs in the Summer Institute, the Creative Jazz Institute is open to 6th through 12th graders. Only rising 11th - 12th-grade students may reside on campus. 6th - 10th-grade students may apply as commuters. Only high school students will receive college credit.
*Thanks to the generosity of our funders, full scholarships are available. The deposit requirement is waived for full scholarship applicants. View scholarship requirements