Registration Now Open for NJPAC’s TD JAZZ FOR TEENS Education Program

Registration Now Open for NJPAC’s TD JAZZ FOR TEENS Education Program

Announcing New Class: Music Composition & Arranging
Impacting Thousands of Young Musicians for the Past 25 Years

When: Fall Semester: Oct 7–Dec 16, 2023; Spring Semester: Jan 27-May 18, 2024, 10:00am-5:00pm (schedules vary)

Where: New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Colton Institute for Research and Training in the Arts, 24 Rector Street, Newark, NJ, 07102 (Newark Penn Station stop by Newark-bound PATH/Amtrak).

Who: Student musicians ages 12-18.

Register: $650 per semester. $1,100 for full year. Registration is required and financial aid is available. For more information, visit or call 973.353.7058.

NEWARK, N.J. (For Release 08.23.23) – The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the state’s anchor cultural institution, celebrates 26 years of offering thousands of high schoolers from Newark and beyond music lessons and performance experiences through its popular TD Jazz for Teens program. One of the first of many arts education institutions at NJPAC, it has grown into a nationally recognized and revered program producing stellar alumni such as MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Tyshawn Sorey. The 2023-24 school year is about to begin and is now accepting students for the Fall 2023 semester. Registration is now open and closes Sep 25.

Jazz for Teens is a comprehensive and sequential jazz education program that provides access to top-notch musical training and study with world-class working artists, opportunities for artistic exchange within the community, and college and career exploration. Classes include jazz history, theory/composition, technique, ensembles, and more. Prospective college students are guided through the application process. Students are given many performance opportunities as members of the James Moody Jazz Orchestra and/or George Wein Scholars Ensemble (performing at the Newport Jazz Festival). All students record their own compositions together in a studio setting. Field trips to Rutgers University-Newark’s remarkable Institute of Jazz Studies, the largest archive of jazz-related materials in the world, are regular treats for students.

This 2023-24 school year includes a new class: Music Composition and Arranging led by Teaching Artist/saxophonist/composer Lance Bryant (Jazz at Lincoln Center, Berklee College of Music, Jazz House Kids). This class welcomes aspiring composers ages 14-18 who demonstrate promise and dedication early in their creative development. The program focuses on the fundamentals of composition through instruction, group activities and styles, the performance of students’ works, and interaction with Bryant. It prepares students for the next stage of their artistic journey.

Since 2015, Jazz for Teens has been at the helm of Mark Gross, the Director of Jazz Instruction for NJPAC. A multiple-Grammy-winning alto sax player and composer, Gross has performed and recorded with a roster of greats, including Dizzy Gillespie, Buster Williams, Nat Adderley, Dave Holland, Wynton Marsalis, and more. In addition to Gross, a roster of more than a dozen working jazz musicians including saxophonist Wayne Escoffery and guitarist Alex Wintz (himself an alumnus of the program) as well as celebrated percussionist Alvester Garnett and acclaimed, Russian-born trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, a Jazz Messenger, to name a few — make up the TD Jazz for Teens faculty. Even more bold-faced names, including eight-time GRAMMY-winning bassist Christian McBride, the Arts Center’s Jazz Advisor, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, and MacArthur “Genius” and Doris Duke Artist award winner Regina Carteroffer master classes, working directly with students.

Through this unique program, students become more than musicians—they grow into exceptional people ready to take on the world. Social and emotional support is embedded throughout all teachings with social workers made available to both students and their families. NJPAC’s commitment to celebrating social justice work and students’ social and emotional learning is integrated throughout the program.


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