Here is an amazing opportunity for your teen to play in a very special band in Red Bank.

If your son or daughter plays an instrument and would like to join in with other students from around the Monmouth County area, there is a wonderful non-profit organization that brings young musicians together to form an amazing jazz band.

Your teen musician doesn't have to know jazz or have played it before. This is a learning experience like none other. Instead of a 'music school', the Jazz Arts Academy uses world-renowned, top professional recording artist musicians to mentor and teach these teens the fine art of playing jazz music as a band, including how to solo, and gives them opportunities to perform that music.

This is the stuff that isn't taught in school band, so it's a great supplemental program that will make your band student even better in their own school band. The Jazz Arts Academy is also great for those teens who don't have the opportunity to perform in a school band, including home schoolers and those who go to some of the tech high schools that don't have a school band.

(Photo by Oksana Sorochan)

The program begins this coming Sunday, Sept. 17th, and runs every Sunday throughout the school year from 4 pm - 6 pm. Students receive comprehensive training in improvisation, music theory, jazz history, and instruction tailored to their instrument. There are group lessons, individual coaching, listening sessions, and master classes with visiting artists.

These teens really bond and have fun learning to perform in ensembles. They are given opportunities that they will NOT get ANYWHERE else in our area. My son has been a part of this program and has performed in venues like Count Basie Theatre, Two River Theatre, and Riverside Gardens Park in front of very large crowds, and has opened for Grammy-winning artists that have gone on to mentor him in ways that are beyond any other opportunities we would otherwise receive.

(Photo courtesy of Oksana Sorochan Photography)

Now, no matter what genre music my son is playing, and no matter what stage he is performing on, he is continually approached by people wondering how he has become such a good musician at such a young age. He's 14 and will continue to learn and grow with the Jazz Arts Academy. Hope to see your child there, too!

This Academy, although a separate non-profit entity, is included as part of the non-profit Count Basie Theatre performing arts programs. The classes take place in the same building as the Monmouth Conservatory of Music on White Street in Red Bank (once the Count Basie Theatre is renovated, classes will move back there.) You can sign up now for the fall session, which runs from Sept. 17th through Nov. 11th, with an incredible concert to follow.

To register your teen (ages 13 - 19...or younger if proficient at their instrument), CLICK HERE or call 732-224-8778, ext. 125. Or you can email

If you don't have a teen but would like to help this great non-profit continue to enrich the lives of teens and keep jazz music alive and well among a younger generation, CLICK HERE for opportunities to support the Jazz Arts Project.