Jeremy Siskind returns for 2018 Jazz Piano Workshop

JAN 27, 2018

Location: McNally Smith College of Music - 19 E Exchange Street, St. Paul, MN 55101
Time: 10am-4:30pm
Cost: FREE

DFJE & Schubert Club present

Winter 2018 Jazz Piano Workshop (Grades 7-12)

Jazz workshop flyer 2018 [revised5]

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

When: Saturday, January 27, 2018, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (lunch provided)

Where: NEW LOCATION: Brady Education Center at University of St. Thomas – 2115  Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105

Cost: FREE! There is no charge for the workshop. Funding is provided by Schubert Club and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education. Registration required by Monday, January 15, 2018. Click here to register today!

The Workshop: Piano students (with all levels of experience with jazz) will begin the day in one large group for a welcome and “icebreaker” activity. Students will then break into their clinic groups (based on jazz piano experience). After the first clinic, all will gather for an entertaining introduction to jazz piano with presentations from our clinicians, who will also talk briefly about the challenges of jazz piano, particularly making the transition from classical to jazz piano. There will be a break for lunch, followed by another clinic session, which will run until about 2:15. After a short snack break (provided), students will return to a clinic session until 3:40, when they come together to share their performances with families and friends. Three scholarships for piano lessons will be presented at the end of the workshop, with one student selected from each clinic group. Students who have previously participated in the DFJE/Schubert Club Jazz Piano Workshops are invited to return to further expand your jazz piano skills!



  • 9:45 – Check-In
  • 10:00 – Welcome & Icebreaker
  • 10:15 – Clinic Session 1
    • Siskind, Group 1; Burk, Group 2; Santiago, Group 3
  • 11:40 – Demonstration: One song from each artists
  • 12:15 – Lunch Break
  • 1:00 – Clinic Session 2
  • 2:15 – Snack Break
  • 2:30 – Clinic Sessions 3
  • 3:40 – Student Performances
    • Scholarship Awards
    • Wrap-Up
  • 4:30 – End of Clinic



  • Jeremy Siskind (pianist/composer/clinician) of New York, was most recently seen in this area playing with vocalist Nancy Harms, with whom he’s recorded here well received album Ellington at Night. Siskind won the 2012 Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition and second place at the 2011 Montreux Solo Piano Competition, has published seven instructional books with Hal Leonard, and teaches both jazz and classical piano at Western Michigan University.  As a performer, Siskind is a leader of the “in-home concert” movement, having performed in about 100 homes in 25 different states since 2012.  Siskind has also performed at “traditional” venues, such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, as well as in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. His 2015 CD, Housewarming, features vocals from Grammy winners Kurt Elling and Peter Eldridge, and was called a “shining example” of chamber jazz in Downbeat.  Jeremy Siskind holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (Jazz Performance and Music Theory) and Columbia University (English and Comparative Literature). He’s the Artistic Director of the American Jazz Pianist Competition. Jeremy will be leading the Advanced Jazz Piano clinic (Group 3). (
  • Sarah Burk is a performer and recording artist on keyboard, violin, vocals and percussion, Sarah Burk has toured the U.S., Europe and the Middle East with a variety of ensembles and theatre troupes. Ongoing endeavors include directing and performing with her jazz trio and 10-piece orchestra, as well as dates with other jazz, big band, R&B, gospel, classical chamber, international dance and variety ensembles. Having played the roles of music director, conductor, composer, pianist, violinist and arranger in over 100 theatre productions in Minnesota and Europe, she is actively involved in the development and production of new works at Stages Theatre Company, the History Theatre, Theater Latté Da, and Green T Productions. Her degrees from the University of Minnesota include a B.M. in theory/composition with a jazz studies minor and a Master of Liberal Studies. She has also studied Latin jazz piano with Nachito Herrera and Afro-Caribbean percussion with Shai Hayo. An Instructor of Jazz Piano at St. Olaf, Sarah has taught a variety of courses at McNally Smith College of Music, St. Cloud State University, College of St. Benedict, University of Minnesota-Duluth and Northland College. Sarah will be leading the Intermediate Jazz Piano Clinic (Group 2).
  • Javier Santiago is a powerful young artist with a strong vision. Born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, he grew up surrounded by strong artistic support. He was given a strong musical background by his jazz musician parents, as well as stalwarts of the local jazz community. Javier started playing piano at the age of 5, and was classically trained until he discovered his love of jazz music at the age of 11. In high school, he was a prominent player in the Minneapolis/St. Paul music scene. It was around this time that he started composing and working on his music production skills. While still in high school, he organized his own quintet and produced two albums. He also won the Schubert Club Jazz Piano Competition two years in a row. In 2007, Javier was selected by the great Dave Brubeck and a panel of judges to be a part of the Brubeck Institute Fellowship program at the University of the Pacific in California. It was there that Javier was able to learn from some of the greatest musicians in the world; Christian McBride, Robert Glasper, Eric Harland, Joe Gilman, Nicholas Payton, Joshua Redman, Geoffrey Keezer and Jeff Ballard to name a few. While at the Brubeck Institute, Javier was fortunate enough to play at venues all across the nation such as the Detroit Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center and Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., IAJE, and Yoshi’s in Oakland. The Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet (’08-’09) was awarded Best College Group Of the Year in DownBeat Magazine two years in a row (2009 and 2010). In 2011, Javier was selected to participate in the 14th Annual Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program. The intensive residency program took place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It was there that Javier studied with Curtis Fuller, George Cables, Winard Harper, Dr. Nathan Davis, and other jazz heavyweights. Javier received his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Piano Performance in late 2011 at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC. Since then, he has been playing gigs regularly in NYC at venues such as Smalls Jazz Club, 55 Bar, The Iridium, and several others. He also was a finalist in the 2015 American Jazz Pianist Competition. Javier is not limited to just playing the piano. He is also a prolific composer. His work is an eclectic blend of Jazz, R&B, Rock, Hip Hop and everything in between. Javier is also a teacher, arranger, and producer. Javier will lead the Beginning Jazz Piano clinic (Group 1). 



Three scholarships are provided by endowments to Schubert Club from the families of Marie Froehlich, Jane Matteson and David Paulus. One student will be selected from each clinic group to receive a $300 Scholarship for jazz piano lessons with one of three award-winning local jazz pianists/clinicians from the Twin Cities, on a schedule to be negotiated with the clinician. Each clinician at the workshop will select one student from his or her clinic group whom they feel will benefit most from these lessons.


Group Assignment – What clinic group is best for you?

This workshop is intended to address skills-building for three levels of pianists. It is assumed that all participants have had at least three 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.)

See the guide below for sefl-assigned clinic group placement (we may make adjustments after the morning session):

Group 1 – Beginner

  • 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 – Intermediate

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

Group 3 – Advanced

  • At least three years of piano instruction (classical or jazz)
  • 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 and fluency using basic jazz voicings
  • Knowledge of basic jazz standards
  • Knowledge of scales appropriate for each chord (scales over changes)
  • Ability to play 12-bar blues


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?

It is essential that students designate their appropriate skill clinic and complete all questions on the registration form to ensure appropriate clinic assignments. If student’s skills do not meet their self-assigned skills group 


Register hereThis workshop is limited to 25 students. Complete registration on our Eventbrite Page, and answer all questions accurately. You will receive an email confirmation of your registration. Registration deadline is Monday, January 15, 2018.

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