Piano Workshop Featuring Benny Green

OCT 24, 2015

Location: McNally Smith College of Music
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Cost: Free

Fall 2015 DFJE/Schubert Club Jazz Piano Workshop (Grades 7-12)

Register Here Today! 

Download the Workshop Flyer here and please post and distribute!

What: A Day of FREE Presentations and Clinics for Pianists (All skill levels, Grades 7-12)

When: October 24, 2015, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (lunch provided)

Where: McNally Smith College of Music, 19 E. Exchange Street, St Paul

Free! There is no charge for the workshop. Funding is provided by the Schubert Club and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, funded in part by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

The Workshop: Piano students (with all levels of experience with jazz) will begin the day in one large group for an entertaining introduction to jazz piano and the workshop from our guest artist, Benny Green. All three  of our clinicians will also talk briefly about the challenges of jazz piano, particularly making the transition from classical to jazz piano. Students will then break into their clinic groups (based on experience with jazz piano). There will be a break for lunch, followed by the clinics which will run until about 2:45. After a short snack break (provided), students will come together to share performances. Three scholarships for piano lessons will be presented at the end of the Workshop, with one student selected from each clinic.

Students who have previously participated in the DFJE/Schubert Club Jazz Piano Workshop are invited to return to further expand your jazz piano skills!


  • International star guest artist Benny Green was a protege of the late Oscar Peterson.  His early career included stints with Betty Carter, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Freddie Hubbard and Ray Brown.  The first-ever recipient of the City of Toronto’s Glen Gould International Protégé Prize in Music, Benny has fourteen acclaimed recordings to his credit as a leader and appears on dozens more. His resume also includes a long list of master classes, residencies and guest faculty appointments. He has performed locally at the Dakota Jazz Club, including a live recording session with the great guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli.  He will perform with his touring trio at the Dakota on October 25, 2015. Benny will lead the Advanced Jazz Piano clinic (Group 3) at the workshop. (Visit http://bennygreenmusic.com)
  • Laura Caviani returns to the Piano Workshop, where she was a clinician in 2013. One of the local “heavyweights” of jazz piano, Laura is a graduate of Lawrence University and University of Michigan, and highly regarded as a performer, composer and educator. Currently she is on faculty at Carleton College in Northfield, and will also be teaching at MacPhail starting in the fall. When not teaching, Laura keeps busy leading her trio, performing with the Pete Whitman X-Tet, and composing for small and large ensembles. Her recent commissions include works for the Great River Chorale. She has released five recordings as leader.  Laura will lead the Intermediate Jazz Piano clinic (Group 2) at the workshop. (Visit www.lauracaviani.com)
  • Although he started out as a vocalist, Sean Turner has built his career as a pianist, composer, arranger and teacher. He earned his college degree in Jazz Performance at Arizona State University and also studied with famed New York pianist JoAnne Brackeen. Currently he is Keyboard Department Head at McNally Smith College of Music and the Coordinator of Contemporary Music and Worship at Incarnation Lutheran Church. Seam returns to the workshop for a second year to lead the Beginning Jazz Piano clinic (Group 1). (Visit www.seanturnermusic.com)


Scholarships. Three scholarships are provided by endowments to the Schubert Club from the families of Marie Froehlich, Jane Matteson and David Paulus. These scholarship will provide individual piano lessons with three local clinicians — Laura Caviani, Sean Turner and Mary Louise Knutson. Laura and Sean will work with a student from their workshop clinic sessions, and Mary Louise will provide lessons to the student from Benny’s clinic. (Mary Louise is a well-known pianist and instructor from the Twin Cities!) Each clinician at the workshop will select one student from his or her clinic whom they feel will benefit most from these lessons.

Participants — What clinic group is best for you? This workshop day is intended to address skill-building for three levels of pianists. It is assumed that all participants have had at leastthree years of instruction in piano–classical, jazz, etc. and a basic ability to read music. (This workshop is not appropriate for piano beginners– you need three years instruction in some type of piano.)

Clinic group placement (we may make adjustments after the morning session):

Group 1

  • At least three years of piano instruction (classical or jazz)
  • One year or less experience playing jazz piano (or no experience with jazz at all)
  • Little or no experience playing jazz piano in a band or ensemble
  • Less than one year of instruction in jazz piano

Group 2

  • At least one year of jazz piano instruction
  • At least one year of experience playing jazz piano in an ensemble or band
  • Knowledge of basic jazz voicings (Cm, C7, Cm7b5)
  • Knowledge of major and minor scales
  • Familiar with a few jazz standards

Group 3

  • At least three years of jazz piano instruction
  • At least two years experience playing jazz piano in an ensemble or band
  • Knowledge and fluency of all major and minor scales
  • Knowledge of scales appropriate for each chord (scales over changes)
  • Knowledge and fluency using basic jazz voicings
  • Ability to play 12-bar blues
  • Knowledge of basic jazz standards


Please answer the following questions on the registration form to help us ensure proper clinic placement:

1. How many years have you studied piano in general (classical, jazz, etc)

2. How many years have your studied jazz piano?

3. Are you currently playing jazz piano in a band at school or in the community?

4. Who is your jazz piano instructor?

Please note– if you have headphones and adaptors, please bring with you to the workshop.

Register online! This workshop is limited to 12 students in each clinic group. Complete registration online here. It is essential that students designate their appropriate skill clinic and complete all questions on the registration form to ensure appropriate clinic assignments. You will receive confirmation of your registration.Registration deadline has been extended to Tuesday, October 20th at 10:00 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *