The Julian Joseph Jazz Academy (JJJA)

SAtProg-divided-logos-JJ3versionThe Julian Joseph Jazz Academy

JJJA is a weekly Academy under the artistic direction of internationally renowned jazz pianist and composer Julian Joseph. Applications are taken all year round from young people aged 11-24.


The Academy offers talented young instrumentalists and vocalists an amazing opportunity to work with some of the world’s top jazz musicians to develop their creative talents and performance skills, through exploring the American roots of Jazz.

The Academy also operates a JJJA Essentials course for students who demonstrate during audition that they have the potential to succeed at JJJA, but need additional nurturing before they are ready for the full programme.


Entry to The Academy and to JJJA Essentials is by audition. Auditions take place in September and throughout the academic year.


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 learn 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 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 swing.”

Jazz Roots and Legends

Jazz Through its History
Helps students understand the foundations of The Blues as an American artform and introduces repertoire from the major periods of jazz; pre-swing, swing, bebop, cool, hard bop, contemporary, funk and fusion, 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 not only supplement the core curriculum, but also perform alongside students in electrifying performances in a variety of venues (including 606 Club, The Southbank Centre and Wigmore Hall). Specially designed holiday courses are also offered in addition to the weekly programme.




Under the guidance of Julian Joseph who regularly leads sessions, the JJJA artistic team includes: Trevor Watkis, Tony Kofi and Byron Wallen and a range of outstanding celebrity guests including Jean Touissant, Cleveland Watkiss, Steve Williamson, Peter King, Bobby Wellins, Mark Hodgson, Patrick Clahar, Mark Mondesir, Danilo Perez, Courtney Pine, Soweto Kinch, Branford and Wynton Marsalis.


Julian Joseph


I want to create an Academy that gets to the heart and power of Jazz through its roots and history. The infectious rhythm, melody and invention inspires in an environment of cooperation and encouragement. The Academy’s mission is to be true to this great music.


Please read the eligibility, fees and the application process page here >




JJJA Essentials: 12:00 – 14:15

JJJA Seniors: 14:30 – 17:30

Please note that these times are for main programme elements only and include breaks. Instrumental lessons may be scheduled outside these hours. All times are advisory only, and are subject to change.





Our 2019-20 programme is made possible with the generous support of

Mr. Michael Watt



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 Photos: Clive Barda