This is a rare chance to play each week in a small jazz combo in an after school program. You’ll join other good musicians and learn to play jazz under expert instruction.
Why join one of our jazz groups?
- Fun, friends, and community, while improving your skills as a musician and jazz player!
- Boost your chances for making All-County and All-State jazz bands.
- Other benefits include discipline, teamwork, self-esteem, goal-setting, high achievement, music history and appreciation, gaining lifelong skills, and more.
Who joins our groups?
- Your school does not have a jazz band program.
- Your school has a jazz big band, but you want more – the chance to learn how to play in a jazz combo, and get lots of playing time and instruction tailored to you.
All ability levels are welcome, from advanced beginners to more experienced players. For jazz especially, it’s all about playing with others in a group. You’ll experience the fun, excitement, and satisfaction of getting much better as a musician and jazz player.
Our players commit to regular, weekly rehearsal and growth as a band. We’ll work not only on the practical side of playing in a jazz group but also on spurring your creative growth and learning how to improvise.
How It Works
Rehearse: Our teen groups meet for one hour each week throughout the school year. Our jazz combos typically will consist of five to seven players (horns plus rhythm section). We’ll play classic jazz, from swing to bebop, bossa nova and Afro-Cuban.
We’ll learn new techniques each session and cover the nuts and bolts of how to function in a jazz band. We’ll help you understand your role and communicate with your band mates, and we’ll get you familiar with a working repertoire of jazz standards.
Perform: We’ll have opportunities for playing at public venues, jam sessions, and more.
Learn: Groups are led by Paul Bangser, long-time local performer and music educator.
Location: We rehearse at a location in North Bethesda, MD that is very close to the Beltway and 270.
Private Instruction: Private lessons on jazz guitar, and music theory and ear training for all instrumentalists, are also available. Call us for more information.
To Get Started or For More Information: Call Paul Bangser at (301) 461-8798 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to get you started, discuss further details, or answer questions.
Interested in performing with an adult group? Jazz Lab Bethesda offers separate sessions for adults, click here for more information.
Q: What if I’m not good enough to be in a JLB group? Or, what if I may be too good?
A: Calling us to discuss your situation is best here. You need not to be a star instrumentalist coming in, but you should have a basic proficiency, an interest in jazz, and a desire to learn. Most should know how to read music (some exception to this for guitarists and drummers).
If you think you might be too advanced, call us as well and we’re glad to discuss. Continuing to advance as a jazz musician is a lifelong pursuit, and there will always be something to learn. We promise to keep you challenged!
“Paul, thanks for a fabulous evening. My husband and I were in awe of how much you have been able to accomplish [leading this jazz band] in such a short period of time!! It was fantastic! Thanks for all your time and effort. David is thoroughly enjoying himself!”
– Warm regards, M.N.
“The showcase was really great! Friends and family came out and everyone loved it. Thanks so much for giving your students such a special event.”