Handbook 6: The Julian Joseph Jazz Academy

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The Julian Joseph Jazz Academy (JJJA) offers talented young instrumentalists and vocalists an amazing opportunity to work with some of the world’s top jazz musicians todevelop their creative talents and performance skills, through exploring the American roots ofJazz. Students are required to audition, and the programme includes a Junior Academy forthose students who may need additional training before joining the rigours of the AcademyProgramme. The JJJA curriculum focuses upon instrumental interaction within small ensembles,understanding the importance of using the voice to enhance musical and improvisational skills,and developing an understanding of the foundations of The Blues as an American art form. Italso offers an array of opportunities to work with international jazz artists in focusedMasterclasses and Specialist Workshops.


Auditioning for the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy:

All places at the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy are subject to an audition process. Students will be

auditioned by a panel consisting of members from  the artistic and administrative teams.


At the audition you will be asked to play the blues and a Jazz Standard of your choice to a

panel, which will include the main tutors on the Academy. Please be aware that you might be

asked to play either one of the pieces you have chosen unaccompanied. Members of the panel will choose when they accompany you.


Please make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes in advance to give you enough time to warm

up and prepare. If you have applied with more than one instrument please either choose the

instrument that you are best at or, if you feel that you are of equal standard on two

instruments, you may play one piece on each instrument. The instrument (s) that you would

like to audition on must be communicated in advance of your audition.



Set up to support students with great potential who need more grounding in jazz before

taking on the rigours of a full JJJA place, the Programme offers a vocal session to develop aural

training and use of the voice as an instrument and a general session on the jazz scales, the

blues, improvisation and an introduction to jazz repertoire.

Sessions: 1 hour and 30 minutes



An intensive curriculum includes sessions incorporating a range of elements. Students will work

as a big group to learn repertoire and its historical context before dividing into ensembles to

work more intensively. The sessions incorporate lively debate, always offering an opportunity to

discuss and disseminate what has been learnt. Celebrity guest artists are an important feature

of the Academy alongside the regular tutorial team of leading jazz artists:


Real Jazz Notes: The Art of Improvisation

Helps students develop a vocabulary for soloing, and an insight into telling a musical story. They

will learn focus and interaction with a rhythm section, how to construct their playing from the

best elements of style and how to become sensitive to what those best elements are.


The Language of Truth: Finding the Voice of Jazz

Learning how to use the voice helps to enhance musical and improvisational skills and reveals a

new form of emotional expression. Students will use their voices to assist in learning and

understanding melody, developing harmonic awareness, expression and musicianship.


Jazz Democracy: Discipline of the Sideman

Develops the skills of how to work as a group and understand the leadership and the

discipline of playing in ensembles. Students will explore combined soloing, when to play and

when to stay out of the way of fellow players, how to work together to create a group sound

while listening sensitively to others, and how to take part in the democracy of the bandstand.

Rhythmic Fundamentals: Core Principles of Jazz

Develops a fine-tuned understanding of rhythm in Jazz with a focus upon

Swing and Pulse, highlighting the importance of ensemble cohesion and communicating ideas.

Everyone will strive to achieve Ellington’s mantra – “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that



Jazz Roots and Legends: Jazz Through its History

Helps understand the foundations of The Blues as an American art form and introduces

repertoire from the major periods of jazz; pre-swing, swing, bebop, cool, hard bop,

contemporary, funk and fusion, and explores seminal figures like Armstrong, Ellington, Monk,

Mingus, Ornette, Coltrane, Shorter and others. Through this practical approach, students will

learn and workshop major pieces from the jazz canon and be encouraged to further release

their creative potential through the music.


Living Jazz: Masterclasses, workshops and performances

Offers an exciting array of opportunities to work with international jazz artists in focussed

Masterclasses and Specialist Workshops. Guest artists will not only supplement the core

curriculum, but also perform alongside students in electrifying performances in a variety of


Sessions: 3 hours


All students are asked to sign up for our internal Facebook group which is an informal platform for sharing new work, finding out about session information, and a safe place to learn about jazz.


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