Free Workshops During the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

JUN 27, 2014

Location: Twin Cities Jazz Festival
Cost: Free

Free Clinics for Students at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival!

One of the best FREE opportunities for students (of all ages!) to learn about jazz comes around each year during the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Typically one or more of the festival headliners holds an afternoon clinic at nearby McNally Smith College of Music; this year the festival not only will sponsor clinics with headliners Branford Marsalis and Joe Krown, but two additional clinics will take place at other festival venues in Saint Paul. There is no pre-registration — anyone is welcome to just show up!! And with the new LRT Green Line running with free metro passes during the festival, it will be easy to ride between clinics and festival stages.

Clinic With Branford Marsalis, June 27, 2 pm at McNally Smith

World renowned saxophonist, bandleader, composer and record producer, NEA Jazz Master Branford Marsalis performs with his quartet on Friday night (8:30 pm) on the HealthPartners Main Stage at Mears Park. Earlier he will present a clinic sharing his insights and suggestions for both budding and experienced jazz musicians. Although best known as one of the foremost jazz artists of his time, Marsalis is also a seasoned educator who has taught at Michigan State, San Francisco State, Stanford and North Carolina Central Universities, including an innovative extended residency at the NCCU through Marsalis Jams and the Marsalis Berklee Jams series with the Berklee College of Music.

Clinic With Babatunde Lea, June 28, 10:30 am-Noon at Studio Z

Sponsored by the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, this clinic focuses on African percussion and its relationship to American jazz. Babatunde Lea spent much of his career on the West Coast, and has worked with Stan Getz, Leon Thomas, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner and Oscar Brown, Jr. He relocated to the Twin Cities area about 2 years ago and can be heard leading his ensemble at the festival on Friday (7:15 pm) on the MyTalk 107.1 Stage at Mears Park.In the context of percussion, Babatunde teaches concepts of rhythm that apply to all instruments — and he makes it fun! Note that Studio Z is one block from the DFJE Stage at Prince Street where the Youth Showcase will begin at 1 pm following the clinic.

Clinic With Joe Krown, June 28, 2 pm at McNally Smith

Award-winning keyboardist and musical folk hero of New Orleans, Joe Krown brings his talents and love of the sounds of NOLA to his clinic at McNally, and later to the tpt Stage at the Union Depot (7 pm) in the company of his incendiary trio with Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste. Both the clinic and performance are guaranteed to be funky!

Clinic With Javi Santiago, June 28, 3:30 pm at Rondo Library

When he was in his early teens, pianist Javi Santiago performed at the “Hot Summer” Jazz Festival on the Youth Stage, and he returned to both the festival and area jazz venues throughout his years at South High, at the Brubeck Institute, at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, and now as one of the most promising jazz voices on the New York jazz scene. Javi was the pianist for the first edition of the Dakota Combo and a two-time winner of the DFJE/Schubert Club Jazz Piano Competition. Along the way, he also developed an interest in jazz education. This afternoon, he performs at 2:30 pm at Rondo Library, one of the new Green Line Jazz Stops at the 2014 festival; he follows the gig with a clinic which should appeal to anyone interested in jazz piano.

Remember — each of these clinics is free and open to the public, all ages (and any level of experience) invited!  You do not need to bring an instrument to these clinics.

For more information about the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, schedule, artists, free metro passes and more, visit the festival website at

Clinic Locations:

  • McNally Smith College19 E. Exchange Street
  • 275 E. 4th Street, Suite 200

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