jazz singers and accompanists weekend


August 29-30 2020


Andra Sparks Pete Churchill










Jazz song and jazz singers have a special place at at the heart of jazz - they have largely given the music its special sound, feeling and time.

Hence this weekend, in which we call for jazz singers and singer-loving instrumentalists, frontline and rhythm section, to come and learn how to work together under the tutelage of a top professional team.

Count-ins, intros, transposition, rhythmic clarity, sound balance, 'tuning-in' to different instruments, 2 and 4 feels, swing, even and double-time sub-divisions, guide-tone skeletons, narrative sound schemes, microphone technique, voicing down from the melody and tag endings - these are some of the fascinating and absolutely necessary skills we will be looking at over this popular weekend.

We'll be starting each day with a warm-up, then splitting into bands for the rest of the day, looking at the songs you will have prepared ( check out the great playlist below). The days run 10.15am-6pm.

Evening Jam Session On Saturday evening (7.30-9.30) it's performance time in the Clicking Room.

Here's a link to the Spotify playlist, with some great versions of the tunes..




Q Do I need any previous jazz singing or playing experience?

A For this weekend, yes. We are looking at the essential skills needed to improve performance - so all participants will need some jazz performing experience.

Q As a jazz singer do I have to scat - in fact, do I have to even like scat?

A Not at all Most jazz singing improvisation has more to do with narrative, sound and feeling than with anything else. You will need to learn the harmonic and rhythmic skills that would make scat possible - for these will make you a stronger part of the band. But scat is not compulsory!

Q Is the weekend open to all instruments?

A Yes - as long as you like jazz song and jazz singers, and want to get better at working with them, you will be very welcome, whatever instrument you play.

Q Do I have to come for both days?

A Not at all - while we'd be delighted if you joined us for both, we'll also sign you up for single days.

Q What is the cost?

A The cost of one day is £90, or £175 for the weekend (20% member and U18 discounts available).

Q How big are the bands??

A We aim for 9 in each (4 singers + 4 rhythm section + 1 front line)

Q Where do the sessions take place?

A The venue is the Shoefactory at Rushden, a beautiful Victorian building (with a grand piano in all three playing spaces), which is also the home of Jazz School UK founders Nick Weldon and Andra Sparks. More details, maps and links can be found on our About Us page.

Q What is the repertoire, and what is the best way to prepare?

A The tunes are listed on this page, together with playlists for reference. We supply tune sheets in advance, nearer the time, and in the meanwhile ask you to familiarise yourself with the music by listening, singing, and attempting to transfer the melodies to your instrument by ear. Don't worry if you find this difficult - it gets easier - and in the process you will immensely improve your jazz musicianship!

Q How do I sign up?

A Please use this form to register your interest and to let us know how you would like to pay. We will get back to you confirming availability and giving payment details.