"I am so impressed with the standard of musicianship I've heard in the young people on the Trinity Laban Jazz Course. The teaching faculty also seems to foster an openness of approach which results in diverse and interesting music." - Norma Winstone MBE, Honorary Fellow
The Jazz Department at Trinity Laban is one of the strongest in Europe. It provides an education grounded in the jazz tradition whilst at the same time looking forwards with curiosity. Led by the internationally respected educator and jazz musician Simon Purcell, the philosophy of the department is that of a community of improvisors comprising teachers of international repute and talented students, intent upon developing their music with skill and individuality.
Our approach is practical and "musician centred" with our success in assisting students to develop their creative voices reflected in our graduates' professional successes. Trinity Laban attracts top students and many of London's finest emerging jazz musicians are graduates of the course. It is very much part of our ethos that staff play and perform with students, replicating the feel of the real-world jazz community, while our distinctive approach ensures that creative skills are developed to their potential.
Jazz students at Trinity Laban develop within a range of small and large ensembles, improvisation classes and enjoy a generous allocation of one to one lessons. Supporting classes include jazz harmony, rhythm, jazz history, arranging and composition as well as a range of coaching sessions for rhythm section, horn-sections, and African, Brazilian and Cuban music. All classes are practical and cover the range of established and emerging jazz genres and innovations. For more information about Jazz teaching staff click here.
Jazz Singers Pathway
Singers at Trinity Laban may opt to personalise their study through the Jazz Singers' Pathway, allowing a degree of flexibility in studies, distinct to those of instrumentalists.
In addition to small bands, we have three Big Bands and a Jazz Choir which provide performance experience within larger ensemble contexts, as well as opportunities for aspiring jazz composers. There are regular performances in the Beats in the Bar series at Blackheath Halls and Oliver's Jazz Club in Greenwich. Students also perform at prestigious venues such as London's Southbank Centre, Ronnie Scott's, the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street, The Vortex, as well as regular appearances at the London Jazz Festival. Our excellent relationships with jazz clubs across London has resulted in regular opportunities for our students and graduates, most recently the Tribute to Gil Evans at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in November 2012.
In 2011-12 the MOBO award-winning ensemble Empirical became our first Golubovich Junior Jazz Fellows. Embracing traditional and contemporary approaches to the jazz, Empirical collaborated with students in a range of learning and performance contexts. The energy and dynamism of these young musicians characterises our approach to, and focus on innovative performance.
Jazz is a collaborative process, originating from diverse musical cultures. Trinity Laban jazz students not only collaborate together, but also with musicians, dancers and artists from across the institution and beyond. We particularly welcome students with diverse musical backgrounds and celebrate those prepared to challenge the boundaries of our art form as we know it today.
"The thing I think about the teaching, specifically about jazz education .... they strike a great balance between self-discovery and just nudging you in the right direction, whilst you discover this music..."
Tom Wright, MMus, Jazz Drums / 2015-17
Benefiting from its London location, the Jazz department is visited regularly by internationally acclaimed artists. Recent visiting artists have included:
Julian Arguelles, Joey Baron, Nik Bartsch, Terence Blachard, Wayne Bergeron, Jerry Bergonzi, David Berkman, Uri Caine, Peter Churchill, Greg Cohen, Steve Coleman, Lawrence Cottell, Marilyn Crispell, Empirical, Martin France, George Garzone, Robert Glaspar, Dave Hassell, Ari Hoenig, Gene Jackson, Jonathan Kreisberg, Orlando Le Fleming, Dave Liebman, Kirk Lightsey, Members of Wynton Marsalis's Lincoln Centre Orchestra, Aruan Ortiz, Greg Osby, Aaron Parks, Partisans, Seb Rochford, Jochen Rueckert, Kendrick Scott, Jim Snidero, John Taylor, Will Vinson, Anita Wardell, Bobby Wellins, Neil Wilkinson, Norma Winstone.