More About the Columbus Youth Jazz Program:

Whether you’re a high school student looking for a high-level community music program or a middle school student looking to develop your musical voice, the Columbus Youth Jazz program at the Jazz Academy is the place to be! Each ensemble rehearses weekly and offers a variety of performances, guest artist workshops, free CJO tickets, recording sessions, and more during the season.

Instrumentalists are placed in one of four ensembles, including the nationally renowned Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra and/or the Columbus Youth Jazz Lab. Students who are interested in any of our youth jazz ensembles, including the CYJ Lab should plan on preparing the posted audition materials. Students in grades 7-12 are open to audition for the CYJ program.

The CYJ program has expanded to include the CYJ Vocal Lab, which meets on Sundays alongside the instrumental ensembles. Participants learn the ins and outs of singing jazz, including technique, style, improvisation and band-leading and have a final performance each semester where they get to sing with a live rhythm section.

Big Bands

The CYJ big bands consist of four unique ensembles designed for intermediate to advanced students who play saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, piano, bass, and drum set. Students perform classic big band repertoire along with contemporary music designed to challenge students at every skill level. The big bands meet from September to May and rehearse on Sundays between 4-6pm.

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Instrumental Lab

Consisting of small combos for students with intermediate to advanced skills and an introductory lesson group for students with less experience, the CYJ Lab is the place to develop jazz language, improvisation and listening skills in a fun environment. The Instrumental Lab meets for 10-weeks each semester on Sundays from 2-3:30pm.

Vocal Lab

The CYJ Vocal Lab is a group learning experience for vocalists in grades 7-12 with fundamental singing experience in any genre. Students will learn about jazz style, vocal technique, improvisation, and bandleading, culminating in a performance with a live rhythm section. The program meets for 8 weeks each semester on Sundays from 1:00-3:00pm.

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