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Our focus is pure and simple. We teach young musicians the theory, traditions and technique necessary to develop excellent jazz improvisation skills.
Here's how we do it.


Jazz fundamentals

Beginning/intermediate jazz improv

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For ages 13-18, these Tuesday after-school sessions held from 4-6 PM at the African American Performing Arts Center are designed for middle school, high school and string orchestra musicians who are just beginning to learn the art of jazz improvisation. (check the calendar) Fun soul jazz-style tunes and classic compositions such as Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" and Miles Davis's "All Blues" are among the songs used to develop knowledge of chords and harmonies as well as scales and cool jazz "licks" used for improvisation in a combo-style setting. A professional rhythm section plays with the group at each session creating a fun, exciting musical environment. A minimum of one to two years experience on an instrument, knowledge of major scales and good-to-excellent reading skills are needed. Fee: $5 per session for facility usage. Drop-ins welcome!

Map and directions below.


Advanced Jazz Methods


High school and advanced middle school musicians who have learned the basics of theory and harmony for jazz improvisation and are ready for more challenging material meet weekly on Saturdays, 2-4 PM at Sandia Prep (532 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque NM 87113) on a quest to learn the top 100 all-time jam session standards, using ears and instincts to learn and create harmonies, background figures and "shout choruses." A thorough knowledge of major scales and excellent reading ability are essential for survival in this fast-paced "jam session" environment. Up to four new jazz standards are introduced every week, and we learn as we proceed to quickly identify chord qualities, scales, and useful "licks" and melodic figures to use in improvisation when we begin each tune. Professional rhythm section players play with the group at each session, and share tips and tricks with young rhythm section players.

Map below.


Jazz Keyboard Lab


Weekly study of jazz harmony learning basic principles of chord construction and voice leading allows students to understand ii7-V7 and other jazz chord progressions, and construct improvisations based on their knowledge of jazz harmony.

This Lab will start in September at Sandia Preparatory School



To help fund our projects, please write a check to the African American Performing Arts Center with “Youth Jazz” in the comment section and mail to:

ATT: Annette Caine
African American Performing Arts Center Foundation
310 San Pedro Dr NE
Albuquerque, NM  87108


Click the Donate button at the top of each page, and help support youth jazz education in New Mexico.  Thank you.


Jazz Fundamentals at African American Performing Arts Center
Tuesdays 4-6 p.m.
Take Exit 162 Louisiana Blvd South from I-40.
In 0.8 miles, Turn Right onto Lomas Blvd
In 0.5 miles, Turn Left onto San Pedro Dr NE
In 0.4 miles, Turn Left just past the AAPAC building. 
There will be a parking booth for the fairgrounds. Just tell them you are going to jazz rehearsal at AAPAC. You do not need to pay for fairground parking. Then turn left after the parking booth to go to the AAPAC parking lot.



Advanced Jazz Methods at Sandia Prep
Saturday 2-4 p.m.