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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.

Inspired by the history and positive impact of the Jenkins Institute, the Charleston Jazz Academy was established in June 2017 to cultivate the next generation of jazz artists. ​With a variety of education and outreach programs (both at our physical location and in the community), we are excited to provide jazz music opportunities for students of all ages, all experience levels, and all backgrounds.  ​

From private and group lessons to jazz band, masterclasses, and summer camps, the Charleston Jazz Academy is the destination in Charleston for jazz education. Come visit us at 3005 West Montague Avenue in North Charleston. For any questions, please call 843.745.5908


Jazz Day for Kids – November 13, 2019

Jazz Day for Kids is designed for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade.

The students will enjoy a BIG BAND concert produced especially for little ones by the Charleston Jazz Orchestra led by Music Director, Robert Lewis. Our special guest vocalist will be the fabulously talented Zandrina Dunning. The event will be held at the Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC.

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We offer instrumental and vocal classes, workshops and clinics taught by professional jazz musicians and educators. Students of all levels are welcome for private and ensemble classes. Students not only learn to play their instruments, but also learn how to improvise and collaborate with other musicians.

The Charleston Jazz Academy believes in providing all students with an equal opportunity to participate in jazz and awards talent-based and needs-based scholarships. Scholarship recipients participate in small group lessons, monthly masterclasses, workshops and performances, and receive tickets to Charleston Jazz Orchestra concerts.

Charleston Jazz collaborates with Spoleto Festival USA to bring visiting artists to the Charleston Jazz Academy to speak to students or hold clinics. Next visiting artist clinic is on May 28 with David Virelles, Cuban jazz pianist and composer and May 29 with Terri Lyne Carrington, drummer and singer

David Carter, Director of Education and Outreach, regularly visits 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.

In collaboration with the North Charleston Elementary School we are currently offering a twice a week after school jazz program teaching students how to play the melodica and introducing them to the elements of jazz. The program is supported by grants from the South Carolina Arts Commission and Boeing.

Each year we invite students from elementary and middle schools from all over the Charleston area to enjoy a free performance by the Charleston Jazz Orchestra at the Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. The next Jazz Day for Kids is on November 13, 2019.

Family Day is part of the annual Charleston Jazz Festival each January and features a performance by the best high school jazz bands from around South Carolina including our own Charleston Jazz High School All-Stars.

Charleston Jazz Academy works with area high school music directors to select the most talented youth artists for the Charleston Jazz High School All-Stars. 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.

Registration open: October 1, 2019

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 to attend a live concert performance of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra with their parents. To date, we have provided nearly 500 passes. If you are a music teacher, contact us to join the Jazz Pass program.

For more information or questions, please contact David Carter, Director of Education and Outreach at david@charlestonjazz.com or by calling (843) 745-5908