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The Jazz Circle of the Milwaukee Jazz Institute provides free classes and events for youth and adults who want to learn more about jazz. Those who wish to make a donation to support this program and other MJI initiatives can make a donation here: DONATE NOW.

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Join MJI faculty members Mark Davis and Jeff Hamann for a jam session open to musicians of all ages. The MJI Jazz Session is held on the second Monday of the month from 8:30 - 10 PM at the Jazz Gallery. Admission is free; however, a donation is always welcomed.

Below you'll find links to watch MJI interviews of jazz legends and a sample of other past Jazz Circle offerings. You can check out all of MJI's past workshops and offerings here: Past Workshop & Classes

August 7, 2021

A Conversation with Carl Allen

A recent MJI Jazz Circle event was an online conversation with Carl Allen, the gifted Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader, entrepreneur, and educator who has over 200 recordings to his credit. Having taken place on the 83rd anniversary of legendary trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s birth, Carl’s experiences touring, recording, and serving as Freddie’s musical director were part of the discussion. 

August 27, 2020

A Conversation with Charles McPherson

A favorite Jazz Circle event was a conversation with saxophone legend Charles McPherson. The discussion, hosted by MJI artistic director Mark Davis, delved into McPherson’s amazing career. You’ll hear incredible stories about meeting and hearing Charlie Parker, learning from Barry Harris in Detroit, and working with Charles Mingus. You’ll also learn about the inspiration for his new album, Jazz Dance Suites.

November 18, 2021

A Conversation with Wycliffe Gordon

Enjoy the conversation between Wycliffe Gordon and MJI faculty member Marcya Daneille about Wycliffe’s amazing career as a musician, composer, conductor, arranger, and educator. He is the winner of “Best Trombonist” in this year’s annual DownBeat International Critics Poll.

July 1, 2022

Camille Thurman Jazz Improv Workshop

World-renowned saxophonist and vocalist Camille Thurman will lead a workshop on jazz improvisation. Camille Thurman has shared stages with such jazz and R&B luminaries as Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves, Wynton Marsalis, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jon Hendricks, Harry Connick Jr., Jon Batiste, Diana Krall, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Louis Hayes, Russell Malone, Nicholas Payton, Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, and Erykah Badu, among others.

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June 13, 2022

Workshops With Mark Davis

Mark Davis will present two workshops as part of the Jazz Circle of MJI. Attend one or both. 

JAZZ PIANO WORKSHOP - Mark will focus on Barry Harris's harmonic method that uses what he called "sixth-diminished scales." If you have no idea what that is, come and find out!

JAZZ IMPROV WORKSHOP (open to all instruments) - Mark will show you ways to improvise using bebop scales and arpeggios, and we'll analyze a solo on "Blue Monk."

February 10, 2022

Jazz Improv Workshop with Brian Lynch

Musicians of all ages and all instruments are invited to join multi-Grammy-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch for a workshop on jazz improvisation.

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MARCH 19, 2022

Improv Workshop with Bruce Barth

Musicians of all ages and all instruments are invited to join jazz pianist and composer Bruce Barth for an in-person improv workshop. Bruce has been sharing his music with listeners worldwide for more than two decades. Deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, his music reflects both the depth and breadth of his life and musical experiences. In addition to traveling widely performing his own music, he has also performed with revered jazz masters and collaborated with leading musicians of his own generation.

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