The Charleston Jazz Academy brings together highly motivated students in a collaborative and challenging environment to expand their repertoire and nurture the skills of improvisation.

Working in partnership with local schools, parents, and students of all ages, the Charleston Jazz Academy brings together highly motivated students in a collaborative and challenging environment to expand their repertoire and nurture the skills of improvisation.

Jazz Academy Offerings

Register Now for Fall!

Private Lessons

It is never too early or late to study music!  At the Charleston Jazz Academy, we offer expert private instruction on a wide range of instruments.  Students enjoy one-on-one learning from some of Charleston’s best music instructors.

Register today

Band Classes

Group band classes allow students to hone their musical skills in a group setting.  The Charleston Jazz Academy offers Home School Band class for beginning and intermediate students.  We also offer a stellar Jazz Band  – of course!

Register today

Music Therapy

Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. We are happy to offer private music therapy sessions by a highly qualified and certified instructor.

Register today

Workshops and Master Classes

The Charleston Jazz Academy now offers an exciting line-up of workshops and master classes including: Percussion/Drumset (with featured teacher Quentin Baxter), All-region and All-state Audition Preparation Clinics, Vocal Jazz, Introduction to Guitar, and Introduction to Jazz Improvisation.

Register today

Academy Faculty

  • Quentin Baxter – Featured Clinician, Drums and Percussion
  • Brett Belanger – Bass
  • Miller Boone – Percussion
  • Cassie Cowdrey – Clarinet and Saxophone
  • Ken Foberg – Low Brass – Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba
  • Jeremy Glover – Percussion
  • Jennifer Gossett – Music Therapy
  • Kim King – Flute
  • Megan Lamont – Piano and Voice
  • Robert Ligon – Horn and Trumpet
  • Bryan Motte – Guitar
  • RJ Ocampo – Trumpet, CJA Jazz Band
  • Adam Prack – Horn and Trumpet, Homeschool Beginner and Intermediate Band, Music Recording and Technology/Music Theory
  • Dr. Ryan Westberry – Clarinet and Saxophone

Mark Your Calendar

In Spring of 2019, we will offer four new exciting programs including New Horizons Band (for age 40+), Music for Young Children (for ages 18 months to 5 years), Music Recording and Technology, and Musical Theatre.  Stay tuned for more information!

Contact Us Today

By Phone: 843-745-5908
By Email: academy@charlestonjazz.com

Charleston Jazz Academy
3005 West Montague Avenue, Suite 200
North Charleston, SC 29418

Why choose Charleston Jazz Academy?

  • Over 70 years of experience teaching music to Charleston youth
  • Expert music instruction from many of Charleston’s finest teachers and performers
  • Instruction offered on a wide range of instruments
  • All students receive free tickets to the Charleston Jazz Orchestra concerts
  • Students can meet and learn from celebrity musicians who are visiting Charleston to perform with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra concerts or at the Charleston Jazz Festival

Education Outreach

Outreach to Area Schools

Our Director of Education and Outreach, David Carter, visits many schools throughout Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. Since 2017, he has reached over 5,000 students with a variety of exciting jazz experiences. Reach out to us if you would like to schedule David for teacher professional development sessions or outreach experiences in your classroom.

Learn More and Register

Jazz Day for Kids

Each year we bring students from elementary and middle schools from all over the Charleston area to enjoy a performance by the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. Exposing kids to live jazz at an early age is instrumental. Jazz Day for Kids also includes a special welcome by Mayor John Tecklenburg and a jazz history lesson by our Director of Education, David Carter. We have moved the event to the Gailliard Center this year  and are expecting 1,700 students to attend the event on November 13, 2018.

Family Day

Family Day is a special part of the annual Charleston Jazz Festival and features a concert by the Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra, School of the Arts (SOA) Jazz Band, and a performance comprised of local area jazz educators. Over the past three years, over 1,500 adults and children have attended Family Day at the Sottile Theatre which includes FREE admission for all students.

Reserve seats for Family Day

Charleston Jazz All Star Youth Orchestra

For the past three years, Charleston Jazz has worked with area high school Music Directors to select the most talented youth artists for the Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra. These up and coming jazz artists (from grades 9 – 12) are featured in a big band performance during Family Day at the annual Charleston Jazz Festival.

Learn more and register

Jazz Pass

Through our Jazz Pass program, we provide free tickets to Charleston Jazz Orchestra performances throughout the year!  Students (6th-12th grade) throughout the Lowcountry are selected by their school music teachers based on various criteria (such as perfect attendance, most improved, best attitude, etc.) to attend a live concert performance of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra with their parents.To date, we have given given out nearly 500 passes. If you are a music teacher, contact us to join the Jazz Pass program!

Learn more and register

Visiting Artists

Charleston Jazz collaborates with Spoleto Festival USA and the Charleston Jazz Orchestra to bring visiting artists to the Charleston Jazz Academy to speak to students or hold clinics. In May 2018, Reggie Workman, celebrated double bassist (best known for playing with John Coltrane and Art Blakey), held a special workshop with Charleston Jazz Academy students.  Subscribe to the Academy Newsletter to receive updates about visiting artists.

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After-School Programs

In collaboration with the North Charleston elementary school we are launching a twice a week after school music education program for children who would otherwise not have access to music training.  This much-needed training will continue for nine weeks and is supported by a grant from the SC Arts Commission.

Learn more and register


Each year, the Charleston Jazz Academy awards talent-based and needs-based scholarships.  Currently, 20% of our students attend the academy on scholarship. We intend to grow this number annually.  If you know a young musician who would benefit from a scholarship, please contact us.

Apply for a scholarship

Community Outreach

Jazz in the Joint

In October 2016, Charleston Jazz organized its first group of musicians including Mayor John Tecklenburg and Charlton Singleton to visit the Lieber Correctional Institute for our inaugural Jazz in the Joint program.  The program continues in 2018 as Steve Simon, Oscar Rivers, Jr., LeRoy Smalls, Roman Pekar, Markie Morant, and Chanel Ravenel visit the Perry Correctional Institution in Pelzer, SC in June and August.  The two-hour concert includes 10 inmates joining on different numbers. More than 250 inmates and staff enjoy the 2018 performances each visit.

“My hope is that, through the transformative power of music and outreach programs like this, inmates of prisons and jails throughout the country will have a few hours to forget where they are and to realize that people they’ve never met care about them.” 

  • Steve Simon, Board of Directors Vice President, Charleston Jazz


Jazz Academy Founders Circle Campaign

The Founders Circle is a group of generous donors who supported the founding campaign of the Charleston Jazz Academy including the start of our scholarship fund. We are tremendously grateful to their support of jazz education in our community.

We appreciate the generous support of our Charleston Jazz Academy Founders Circle members.


Holland Family Charitable Fund of Coastal Community Foundation


The Donaldson Charitable Trust and Hilton C. Smith, Jr.


Susan & Ted Soderlund


  • Shon & Cindy Barnett
  • Blackbaud
  • Daniel Island Community Fund
  • Dockery’s
  • Excel Apparatus Services
  • Matthew Pardieck
  • The Southeastern Spine Institute, LLC
  • Jacien L. & Laura A. Steele
  • United Community Bank