JWA jazz combo at a performance

These are small-group band lessons that teach jazz improvisation and small-ensemble playing techniques in a friendly, nurturing, and welcoming environment. Students learn as they play real jazz music in a band. Junior and introductory groups are suitable for people who haven’t played in a jazz ensemble or improvised before. Advanced and intermediate groups extend and challenge more experienced jazz students. Little Jazzers, for our very youngest students, uses fun musical and movement activities to help kids build fundamental rhythm and melodic skills in a group. Rehearsals for the older combos include learning and playing music plus structured coaching in jazz improvisation and performance. These are more than just jam sessions: they are an organised educational program designed to build essential jazz knowledge, techniques, skills, dispositions, and means of self-expression.

The JWA jazz combos can be a transformative experience, giving new musical insights, building self-confidence and musical control. Join a combo and learn jazz today.

What’s a ‘combo’?

A jazz combo is a small band, of up to ten musicians. It is really a flexible “combination” of instruments.

There are groups for all ages and levels, on Saturdays and mid-week.

Places are usually limited to eight people per band. A combo can involve any “combination” of instruments, there are no set parts. All combos besides the introductory adult course are by audition/assessment to ensure students are placed in the right group for them.

For all combos the fee is $792/ semester (18 sessions plus concert).

Combo schedule 2021 Semester 1*

*2021 schedules are still being finalised. The timetable may vary. We assign students to the best groups for them, in any case. Contact us for more information.

Monday:Young adults (intermediate +)Young adults 18 - 30 ish.
Intermediateadults 18+
Beginnersadults 18+
Tuesday:Beginners & inexperiencedadults 18+
Intermediate & advancedadults 18+
Introductory-intermediateAdults, 18+
AdvancedAdults 18+
Advancedyoung adults 18 - 30ish
Saturday:Very advancedteens - young adult
Intermediatekids & young teens
Advancedyoung teens
Intermediate -advancedkids & teens
Little JazzersYoung kids ages 3-7
Intermediate/advancedyoung teens

The groups are led by JWA principal Dr. Saul Richardson, Gavin Ahearn, Deven Rahman, and Jack Stoneham with occasional guest tutors. Contact us now to enrol.

What are the benefits of playing in a jazz combo?

The JWA combos are for students to learn and develop their playing in a small jazz ensemble, and improvising in a jazz idiom. It is also fun and quite different from normal school band. Here are some of the things playing in a combo helps:

  • Jazz improvisation, become a fluent player
  • sophisticated ensemble skills
  • learn how to play in a small group
  • develop initiative & leadership
  • fundamental performance skills
  • gain self – confidence
  • improve instrumental technique
  • teamwork
  • understanding of jazz theory
  • appreciation of jazz history and styles
  • aural skills and awareness
  • enjoy playing music!

Combos give you the chance to apply and put into practice the work and theory you learn with your teacher, and really give your playing a boost. This is an excellent way to dramatically improve your skills on your instrument, and to boost your self confidence.

Just as the kids who do swimming squad or little athletics always seem to win the races at school, kids who take combo and/or improvisations lessons tend to become the “star” jazz players at school, or just enjoy music more!

Contact us now to join a combo.