NYJA Big Bands are open to intermediate, advanced, and professional level instrumentalists who are looking to play and work in a big band setting. NYJA Big Bands are not merely reading bands. The material is rigorously and artistically rehearsed and performed throughout the year. Participants include professionals who join to keep their chops up, hobbyists who used to play in big bands and want to return to the big band format, and talented players who are new to big band. Bands are leveled appropriately, and they meet once weekly.
1. Fill out the application form below.
2. Note that there is a tuition requirement for this ensemble workshop. Review the tuition pricing below.
3. Wait to be contacted by NYJA regarding your assessment and placement options.
4. Once you are placed, then please register here: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island.
1. Sight-reading ability a must.
2. A positive attitude toward music and musicians, and a desire to have fun!
3. Dedication to learning your parts.
4. A desire to take advice and accept direction.
Repertoire is similar to that of a very strong college big band, ranging from old-time classics to contemporary big band pieces. NYJA has exclusive access to large volumes of historic charts, including many out-of-print pieces. Featured arrangers and composers include Duke Ellington, Sammy Nestico, Bob Brookmeyer, Sauter-Finegan, Bill Chase, Bill Holman, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Maria Schneider, Bob Mintzer, Paquito D'Rivera, Matt Catingub, and much, much more. Instrumentation includes saxophones, trumpets, trombones, rhythm section (guitar, piano, bass, drums) and is dependent upon those applying and auditioning for spots. If you play clarinet or flute, you may be eligible to play.
NYJA Big Bands perform at clubs and events throughout the year. Previous performance venues have included Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, Pier Sixty, the Tea Lounge, West-Park Presbyterian, St. Peter's Church "Jazz On The Plaza" Concert Series, Somethin' Jazz Club, and more.
Manhattan - Midtown East (starting Saturday, June 8):
Saturdays, 10am-11:50am Big Band III (Excellent for those still working on building their reading skills)
Saturdays, 12pm-1:50pm Big Band II (Intermediate/Advanced)
Saturdays, 2pm-3:50pm Big Band I (Advanced/Pro)
Brooklyn - Prospect Heights (starting Thursday, June 6):
Thursdays, 7pm-8:50pm Big Band (Intermediate/Advanced/Pro)
Long Island - Mineola (starting Sunday, June 9):
Sundays, 7pm-8:50pm Big Band (Intermediate/Advanced/Pro)
Tuition: $256 for 8 sessions for NYJA members. $320 for non-members. Your tuition goes toward NYJA instruction, room rental, materials, and more.
Partial scholarships are available for select instruments. Contact us for more information.
Apply and audition anyway. We will be continuing to expand big band workshop offerings, and we'd like to know about you.
Do you still have questions? Don't hesitate to contact us. We'd be happy to hear from you.
For other program offerings, feel free to browse our site.