Jazz Power Institute for Artists and Educators

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Jazz Power Institute
For Artists and Educators

“The Jazz Power Institute for Artists and Educators has been a key component in my artistic life as a writer and musician for many years. It’s given me the opportunity to engage with some of the most inspiring artists and teachers I’ve ever met. Only in New York will you find something as special as this, where deeply talented artists of all types, some internationally known, others known only in artistic circles, come together to share knowledge, expand their educational boundaries, and exchange cultural ideas through the force of jazz.

James McBride

Author and Musician

2024 Dates: July 9-11, 2024

Location: Lehman College, Bronx, NY


Jazz Power Institute is the professional training branch of Jazz Power Initiative for artists and educators interested in teaching jazz in a culturally authentic way through multiple modalities of music, dance, theatre, and writing. Attendees experience workshops covering a wide range of age groups from grades preK-12, to college students and adult learners.

Participants from a wide range of experience in the field are welcome, including college students who are relatively new to teaching artist work, as well as educators and artists with a decade of experience or more. Jazz Power Institute provides a safe and challenging learning environment, where breakthroughs are made in understanding the jazz arts in a more comprehensive, personally relevant and engaging way.

The Institute is produced by Jazz Power Initiative, the uptown NYC based non profit organization and was started by a core team of dance scholar, choreographer and producer, Shireen Dickson, guitarist, author and music professor Tom Dempsey, Jazz Power Initiative co-founder, author and educator, Clifford Carlson, and jazz musician, educator, Jazz Power Initiative co-founder, managing and artistic director, Dr. Eli Yamin. To date, Jazz Power Institute has brought together over 180 artists and educators providing CTLE credit to DOE teachers and certificates of completion to independent artists interested in teaching jazz across disciplines of music, theatre, dance and writing. Guest faculty include the award winning author James McBride, Sweet Honey In the Rock co-founders, Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson, and choreographer Mercedes Ellington. The Institute is currently offered at no cost to participants thanks to the support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts and Lehman College Department of Music, Multimedia, Theatre, and Dance.

Past themes:

  • What is the BLUES (2023), where does it come from and how can it be an unstoppable learning tool for students of all ages to connect with their own voice, cultivate social emotional knowledge and wellness, and draw strength from their community and the African and African American roots of jazz and blues music?
  • JAZZ FUTURE (2022). How can student engagement with jazz create new pathways in learning about music and the arts in general while stimulating personal growth?
  • LIBERATION (2020)
  • POLYRHYTHM (2019)


  • Jazz Power Tools, African American culturally rooted practice for teaching and learning jazz across the curriculum.
  • Teaching jazz and blues singing in elementary grades in a culturally authentic way.
  • Teaching jazz and blues singing in middle grades using classic repertoire and Jazz Power Musicals.
  • Making art with Sweet Honey in the Rock co-founders Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson.
  • Jazz music and dance history.
  • Storytelling and reharmonization with author and musician James McBride (The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store).
  • Integrating jazz with storytelling and teaching middle school ELA with author and educator Mick Carlon (Riding on Duke’s Train).
  • Functional voice technique.
  • Somatic Voicework, the LoVetri Method(tm).
  • Teaching blues guitar for beginners using open tunings.

“I love everything you folks do; how you approach teaching and learning music in a holistic way, how you involve the body and the mind and the spirit, how deeply you care for your students, and how your awareness and deep respect for Black culture and tradition informs everything you do.”

Peter Winkler

Professor; Composition, Theory and Popular Music, Stony Brook University (SUNY)

  • Corporate Workshop - Jazz Power Pro

Contact Jazz Power Initiative:
Call 917-818-1759
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