SJW Jazz Institute Online or Hybrid

Jazz Institute Online gives you an opportunity to connect directly with some of the greatest jazz artists in the world. You’ll improve your instrumental or vocal technique, learn great repertoire, get deep into the history and culture of jazz, and become a much more confident jazz soloist.

At Jazz Institute Online, you get to choose your classes, pursue your interests, and create the perfect curriculum for yourself. Professionals, music educators, and amateurs will find just what they need to get their playing and teaching to the next level, and for adults 18 and over, no audition is required, just a recording for placement. Younger musicians who are still in high school can audition for admission, too.

Add the Evening Combo Camp, and get in-person jazz playing experience along with your Jazz Institute Online classes for the best jazz hybrid program available!


For all instrumentalists
Ages 18 and up; 17 and under admitted by audition; Vocalists admitted by Audition

Prerequisite: 18 months of instrumental or vocal instruction.

Jazz Institute Online

Jazz Institute Online is a new interactive online jazz program that will put you in direct contact with some of the world’s top jazz artists, with whom you’ll improve your technique, supercharge your improvisation skills, and get inspired to take your music in directions you may never have thought of before.

Who is SJW Jazz Institute Online for?

  • Professional jazz musicians who want to learn advanced techniques and approaches to improvisation and performance
  • Music educators at all levels who want to gain more insight into teaching jazz and improvisation
  • Solo singers, jazz vocal ensemble members, and choir members who want to get deeper into jazz styles and scat-singing
  • Adult amateur and classical musicians with a strong command of their voice or instrument, and wishing to get more jazz experience
  • Young vocalists and instrumentalists under the age of18 who have experience playing jazz and a strong desire to learn more

You’ll get daily live online sessions on technique, theory, ear training, and performance topics that bring you face-to-face with some of the greatest jazz educators in the world. Special topics, SJW’s virtual combo and virtual big band experiences, office hour-style open sessions with SJW faculty, and much more will round out your week at SJW Jazz Institute Online.

You’ll get your choice of four live sessions per day. You’ll also have access to the recordings of all the classes for a period of time following Jazz Institute Online, so you don’t have to worry about missing any of the amazing sessions.


75-minute classes, Pacific Standard Time

9:00 a.m. – 10:15: Masterclass
11:00 – 12:15: Musicianship classes
2:00 p.m. – 3:15: Music theory classes
4:00 – 5:15: Special presentations

Faculty open sessions offered between class times above.

Choose your own classes from the catalog of instrumental and vocal masterclasses, special jazz topics. More than 15 hours of additional special live sessions and on-demand content available.

In a live Zoom session with a faculty member who is a master of your instrument or of vocal jazz, you’ll work on technique, tone, improvisation, jazz styles, transcriptions of famous jazz solos, and repertoire. These sessions will be archived so all participants can access them for a period of time following the program. You’ll definitely come away with a burning desire to practice, so plan to spend some time in the shed every day!

In these exciting live Zoom sessions, you’ll work with a faculty members to attune your ear to the sounds and language of jazz, and you’ll apply it to your instrument. You’ll be with a mix of instrumental or vocal students, you’ll learn some great jazz vocabulary, and you’ll boost your confidence playing music by ear, which will take your improvisation skills to the next level. These sessions will be archived so all participants can access them for a period of time following the program.

Special Presentations 
We’ll have a wide range of topics taught by our amazing faculty each day, including composition, how to learn tunes and memorize jazz repertoire, grooves for the rhythm section, jazz history through listening, artist profiles, faculty panel discussions, deep dives into the work of particular artists, and much more. You’ll get a complete schedule before SJW Jazz Camp Institute begins.

Optional Morning Meeting and Orientation
Join Camp Director Steven Lugerner every morning at 9:00 AM for a relaxed live Zoom class in which Steven and other faculty members will describe what’s coming up in classes that day, and offer suggestions about how to get the most out of the day’s programs. Steven always has lots of fun jazz videos to share, too, so we encourage you to join the Morning Meeting each day. If you can’t join us at 9:00 AM don’t worry; Morning Meetings will be archived so you can watch them for a period of time following the program.

Open Office Hours
Are you looking for some extra guidance and camaraderie while you practice? Of course you are; every jazz musician should! SJW Open Office Hours are optional live Zoom sessions that will help you to develop great practice plans, and get your questions answered about the fundamentals of jazz improvisation, or what it’s like to go on a world tour or record an album in a professional studio, or how to make ends meet as a jazz musician — this is your time to ask anything you want to know. It’s also a great chance to just feel the SJW community vibe and share your love of jazz with your peers.

Evening Combo Camp

The Evening Combo Camp offers in-person live small group jazz performance and instruction that fits in perfectly with your enrollment in Jazz Camp Online or Jazz Institute Online.

Who is the Evening Combo Camp for?

  • Any musician enrolled in Jazz Camp Online or Jazz Institute Online.
  • Musicians who have never tried jazz but who have proficiency singing or on an instrument.
  • Developing young musicians who play in their school jazz bands and want to learn to improvise and solo better.
  • Advanced classical students with a strong command of their voice or instrument, but lack jazz experience.
  • Advanced jazz players who want to improve their improvisation skills while playing with a small group.
  • Adult professionals, educators, and amateurs who can’t wait to play with a small group, live and in-person!

You’ll play great music, apply the lessons you learned online that day, and learn important ensemble skills such as collaboration, phrasing, interplay, and creativity.


  • One three-hour session each day: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.


Jazz Institute Online

Tuition: $995

July 25-30, 2021

Financial aid is available to deserving students aged 17 and under. You can apply for financial aid when you register online, or after you register.

For participants age 17 and under: Admission to Jazz Institute Online is by audition only. Register for Jazz Institute Online by clicking on the register Now button below. After you register, you’ll receive information about creating and submitting your audition. If your audition is not accepted, you’ll be offered a place in our Jazz Camp Online program, a more guided experience that will be perfect for your skill level and needs as a developing jazz musician. The deadline to submit your audition recording for Jazz Institute Online is June 21, 2021; late registrations can be accepted, as long as space in the program is still available.

Audition requirements for instrumentalists: To be considered for the program, please follow the placement evaluation instructions linked below and submit two audio recordings. One recording must be of “Blues for Liddle,” and for the second recording you can choose either “Recordame” or “Ko Ko.” Instructions, sheet music and play-alongs are all available at the link below. Alternatively – or if you are registering late, you can submit a list of 5 jazz standards you’ve memorized plus two audio recordings. One recording must follow the 12-bar “Bird Blues” structure, and your second recording should be chosen from the list of tunes you provide. For both recordings, play the melody, take a 2- or 3-chorus solo then play the melody again. Please exclude 12-bar blues songs from your “5 tune” list. All recordings must have audible play-along tracks supporting you. If you have recently auditioned for college programs, or have recordings of yourself playing similar repertoire to that outlined above, we’ll accept these for your audition for Jazz Institute Online. You can submit your audition files directly to Steven Lugerner – slugerner@stanfordjazz.org or through SJW’s registration portal.

Audition requirements for vocalists: Vocalists of all ages are required to submit an audition for acceptance to the Jazz Institute Online program. For your audition, please submit two recordings of you singing contrasting jazz selections of your choice. These selections can be jazz standards, American Songbook tunes or anything that captures your current level as a jazz vocalist. Please include scat improvisation if you feel comfortable doing so. All vocal auditions must include play-along or backing track accompaniment.

Evening Combo Camp

Tuition: $595 for each week

Three programs, five days long each:

July 12—16, July 19—23, and July 26—30

One three-hour session each day: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

To attend for multiple weeks, register for each week separately.

Financial aid is available to deserving students aged 17 and under. You can apply for financial aid when you register online, or after you register.



Warmup No. 1: Dorian mode. Get in shape for camp with the SJW faculty!

Warm up No. 2: Mixolydian mode. Get your tone and technique together by playing along!