Jazz Night School, offering jazz combos and big bands for aspiring musicians of all ages in the Seattle area, announces several new programs for the New Year.

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble, led by Rick Leppanen of nationally-renowned Pearl Django, will feature Hot Club Jazz style music made famous by guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt in the 1930s. Open to guitars, clarinet or sax, violins, accordion, mandolin, vibes, bass, and percussion. Rick Leppanen has been a member of Pearl Django since 1998 and is an accomplished double bassist, composer, and educator. He has toured nationally, and since 1985 has been a freelance jazz bassist.

Monk Ensemble, led by Dawn Clement, one of Seattle’s jazz luminaries, will concentrate on pieces by the iconic piano genius Thelonious Monk. Participants should be comfortable with at least intermediate improvisation concepts. Open to piano, guitar, bass, and drums, and multiple melody instruments. Dawn Clement, a pianist, singer, and composer, is a master musician and one of the most sought-after performers in the Pacific Northwest.

Other programs include: the Latin Jazz Ensemble, led by Julio Jauregui, which features music from latin jazz artists such as Chucho Valdes, Emiliano Salvador, Poncho Sanchez, and more; the Big Band Express ensemble led by Stuart MacDonald, jazz band director with award-winning Roosevelt High School jazz band program; and the Gig Prep Weekly Workshop for moderately experienced small combo musicians will focus on reading charts and working up a full set of music.

For a description of the full range of classes offered for all levels, go to the Jazz Night School website. Classes begin the week of January 6, 2013. Sign up online now or by calling 206-722-6061.

Seattle Jazz