Jazzschool-Online Technical Notes
All Jazzschool-Online classes meet online via Zoom. Technical requirements include: computer, tablet or phone with a reliable internet connection. Computer (laptop or desktop) is preferred, but a tablet or phone is also possible, with somewhat limited functionality. Optional for improved sound quality: external microphone, either connected via USB or XLR cable to audio interface. For a budget USB mic option, we recommend the Samson Go, currently retailing for around $50 new. Additional technical requirements are listed for specific classes below.



Let’s Boogie Woogie NEW!
with Wendy DeWitt
A deep dive into Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson, two of the boogie woogie piano greats from whom Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and even Liberace received inspiration. We’ll explore left and right hand coordination, licks and the technique necessary for smooth execution, breaks, intros and endings. Be ready to flesh out your improvisations with lots of new material. We’ll also cover how to use dynamics, develop themes, and keep your playing interesting with the many tools available to pull in a listener’s attention. Have a notebook handy. Attendees are welcome to record the session. Recommended level: Intermediate and beyond. Celebrating eight years of the San Francisco International Boogie Woogie Festival.

Sunday, November 8, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Wendy DeWitt


Mimi Fox

Charlie Parker for Guitarists NEW!
with Mimi Fox
Saxophonist/composer Charlie Parker (1920 – 1955) is widely considered to be one of the most influential jazz musicians. His style of playing is characterized by the virtuosic execution of eighth-note lines and blues phrasing over standard song forms. Parker’s music presents special challenges for guitarists particularly in the areas of fingering, articulation, and reading. In this hands-on class, students explore Charlie Parker’s music in depth, playing his solos and analyzing his melodic lines. Instructor provides tips for playing at Parker’s often breakneck tempos. Guitarists, prepare to have lots of fun and play your fingers off!

Sunday, October 18, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Mimi Fox

Hot Club Jazz Guitar
with Paul Mehling
This workshop focuses on various aspects of hot club-style jazz guitar in the tradition of the legendary Django Reinhardt. Topics include rhythm, picking, scales, arpeggios, chords, soloing, and more. One-on-one evaluation is available to all attendees

Sunday, October 25, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Paul Mehling


Electric Bass: Tone & Technique
with Jon Herrera
In this 3-part workshop, we’ll explore the intersection of tone and technique to confidently achieve classic sounds, solidify your own voice, and get the most from your gear. While it’s crucial to understand the impact of onboard electronics, amplifier EQ, and other steps in the signal chain, it is no less important to master the array of playing techniques that are necessary to maximize your instrument’s sonic potential. Whether in the studio or onstage, this workshop will leave students with a more sophisticated understanding of their gear and effective exercises for improving a variety of essential techniques.

3 Mondays, November 9, 16, 23, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
$150 advance, $165 day of workshop
Jon Herrera


Ami Molinelli

Pandeiro – Dissecting the Groove 
with Ami Molinelli

Percussionist Ami Molinelli will discuss and demonstrate the evolution of pandeiro technique in Brazilian music. We’ll focus on the basic elements of samba and choro including swing and the tamborim ride. Because the pandeiro adapts elements of the Brazilian bass drum (surdo), shakers (ganzá) and tamborim – we will dissect the GROOVE. Please bring your own pandeiro. 

Saturday, October 17, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Ami Molinelli

Workshop sponsored by


Saxophone Embouchure Development and Practicing with Drones NEW!
with James Mahone
A two-hour workshop based on the premise that a stable, relaxed embouchure is the key to getting the most out of your saxophone playing.The first hour of this workshop is devoted to building and strengthening the embouchure and addresses: Working with the mouthpiece alone; Utilizing long tone and overtone exercises to build stability and flexibility; “Singing” into the horn. The second hour is devoted to exploring different ways to utilize drones in practice and addresses: Ear training; Playing scales and arpeggios; “Modal” improvising with drones

Sunday, October 11, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
James Mahone


Playing Bluesy over Jazz Harmony NEW!
with Anton Schwartz

On the 75th Anniversary of Charlie Parker’s first recording session

The jazz masters play blues-based phrases that soar over jazz harmony, seemingly at one with the harmony and simultaneously expressing and obeying an entirely separate logic. The ease of players like Charlie Parker, Kenny Burrell, Oscar Peterson and Stanley Turrentine is deceptive. Perhaps you’ve tried to use the same blues scale that one of them used over a chord progression and found it sounded nowhere as good. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use the power of the blues idiom in your jazz playing. We’ll look at the general principles as well as the specific harmonic tricks necessary to make the blues idiom work over: major chords, “jazz blues” chord changes, turnarounds and other common jazz progressions—developing our musical “intuitions” through exercises we can practice to develop crucial sounds in our ears (and our fingers).Prerequisites: Understanding of basic jazz chord-scale harmony. Familiarity with advanced harmony including altered and diminished chords will be helpful but not required. Instruments recommended (optional)

Saturday, September 26, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
$60 advance, $75 day of workshop
Anton Schwartz

Playing Bluesy over Confirmation
with Anton Schwartz

The ease with which jazz masters sound bluesy over jazz chord changes is deceptive. Such playing requires not only fluency with the blues idiom, but special understanding of how to superimpose that idiom over complex chords—an understanding that is largely at odds with conventional chord-scale approaches to improvisation. In this workshop we use Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation” as a vehicle characteristic of jazz rather than blues—given its quickly moving chord changes and modulations—and delve into the details of improvising over it idiomatically to blues. Prerequisites: Understanding of intermediate chord-scale harmony, including half-diminished and altered dominant chords. The “Playing Bluesy over Jazz Harmony” workshop is good preparation for this workshop, but is not required. Suggested: have your instrument and a way of playing an audio file (to be supplied) through speakers, preferably not on the device you’re using for zoom.

Sunday, November 14, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Anton Schwartz

Developing your Ballad Playing
with Anton Schwartz

The slow songs of the jazz repertoire may be less technically demanding than their faster counterparts, but they require special skills and arguably greater artistry to play credibly. In this workshop we tackle those skills head on, focusing on phrasing and feel, and outline practical avenues for improving your artistry. We also explore rubato, cadenzas and double-time feel as time allows. Prerequisites: facility on a melodic instrument or vocals, improvisational experience, and knowledge of basic jazz harmony. Suggested: have your instrument and a way of playing an audio file (to be supplied) through speakers, preferably not on the device you’re using for zoom.

Sunday, November 15, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop

Anton Schwartz
Thea Farhadian

Free Improvisation: Extending Your Musical Vocabulary NEW!
with Thea Farhadian
Are you interested in improvising more freely, and adding more sounds and approaches to your improvising? In this workshop we will focus on abstract improvisation, and experiment with musical structures and “games” to open up playing and fresh avenues for creative music making. We will work with graphic scores, gesture conducting, extended technique, and more – there’s plenty of room for bringing your own musical genre, and merging it with the class material. We will work together as a larger group, and also smaller groups of trios and duos.

Saturday, October 10, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Thea Farhadian

The Metronome is Your Friend
with Paul Mehling
Returning with his popular workshop for musicians and singers of all levels, Mehling demonstrates a range of practice techniques making creative use of the metronome. Improve your productivity and increase your musicianship! Open to all.

Sunday, November 1, 1:00 –  3:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Paul Mehling


Music in the Digital Age NEW!
with Dmitri Matheny
Dmitri Matheny shares dozens of secrets, strategies, tips and tricks for not only surviving––but thriving––in the contemporary music business. Topics covered include: cultivating a creative and entrepreneurial mindset, booking successful tours, effective use of social media, publicity, acquiring fans and selling music online, creating a record label and publishing company, licensing compositions for use in films, video games and beyond, contract negotiation and much more.

Sunday, September 27, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Dmitri Matheny

Andy Gilbert

The Art of the Interview NEW!
with Andy Gilbert
A two-part workshop exploring how to approach interviewing musicians (or other artists). In the first two-hour session, we’ll talk about research, goals, and strategies for drawing out artists about their life experience, training, and creative goals. The session will also cover techniques for setting a good tone at the start of a conversation, techniques for directing a conversation, and knowing when to follow rather than lead. We’ll also talk about the best way to document interviews. The homework assignment is to interview an artist. Students are welcome to share their questions and game plan with Andy before the interview. For the second session, students will share a page or two from the interview, and we’ll do an extensive debriefing, covering what worked, what didn’t work, what could have been done differently, and possible follow-up questions.

2 Sundays, October 4 and 18, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$120 advance, $135 day of workshop
Andy Gilbert

Building Your Digital Presence NEW!
with Sheryl Lynn Thomas
Building a fan base online can feel overwhelming, but we live in an age with social and promotional platforms at our fingertips, so let’s take advantage of them! It’s important to concentrate on the digital promotion of your band/yourself, new release, tour dates and/or special event. By doing so, you’ll invite more and more opportunities to engage your current fans and create new fans, while simultaneously building a ‘brand’ around your music. In this workshop, we’ll focus on ways to establish a digital presence and develop an engaging flow of content, while building an email list that works with your website, targeting and engaging your audience and establishing your brand across all digital platforms. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions or topics they would like to discuss in advance. Contact Sheryl Lynn at to submit questions.

Sunday, November 15, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Sheryl Lynn Thomas

Home Recording Crash Course NEW!
with Joe Bagale
Musicians have been recording from home for years, and in this time it’s become increasingly popular, perhaps even essential. Multi-instrumentalist/recording engineer/producer Joe Bagale (aka Otis McDonald) has many years of experience recording in both home studio and high-end commercial recording studio environments. In this workshop, Joe will help you think through the process of setting up a home studio including gear, room set up, recording techniques, plus best practices for remote collaborations and more. Whether you’re just starting out with recording or if you’ve already been doing so for some time and want to take your studio set up to the next level, Joe will be able to offer guidance in getting you where you want to be! Attendee questions welcome and encouraged.

Saturday, November 7, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$50 advance, $65 day of workshop
Joe Bagale