“Combo/Small Ensemble Sessions” – July 11-25, 2021
“Individual/Big Band Sessions” – July 25 – Aug. 7, 2021


Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) in collaboration with the highly acclaimed Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, plan to expand their mid-summer JAS Academy program in 2021 to include a new “Combo/Small Ensemble Session.” This two week intensive workshop will be followed by an additional two week JAS Academy “Individual/Big Band Sessions,” led by JAS Academy Artistic Director & multi-GRAMMY• winning Bassist Christian McBride. McBride will work in tandem with Frost Dean Shelly Berg and Program Director Chuck Bergeron, who will work on both sessions.  Visiting jazz-masters who perform at the JAS Café summer series also act as visiting adjunct faculty during both sessions.

“For the 2021 JAS Academy in collaboration with Frost School of Music, the expansion of the program to include small combo format bands is an exciting development for music education as part of JAS’ 30th Anniversary Season,” said JAS President & CEO Jim Horowitz. “This is a great opportunity to identify and encourage emerging groups with a clear vision & sound. We value equally both interpretations of existing repertoire, or original material created by the applicant group previously or specifically for this program. We also value the group’s ability to be versatile in the range of material covered, tempos employed and different moods conveyed. We are pleased to be able to offer both big band and small combo focused programs for the 2021 Season.”

Horowitz added that “JAS was able to safely present the JAS Academy during the pandemic in 2020 through rigorous adherence to local Health Dep’t guidelines regarding distancing, masking and gathering. Both the daily education sessions and live performances for small audiences went off smoothly and we expect the same in 2021. “

“Expanding the JAS Academy from two to four weeks is a game-changer.  With this form at, the academy is a unique boot camp for the essential technology, marketing, and creative skills that every musician needs to thrive. I truly believe it is a life-changing experience,” said Frost School Dean Shelly Berg.

Combo/Small Ensemble Sessions – July 11-25, 2021 – Snowmass, CO

For the Combo/Small Ensemble Session, JAS/Frost are seeking group applicants from existing ensembles with unique repertoire and/or arrangements. Additionally, groups interested in exploring a new or specific artistic vision are encouraged to audition for The Academy. Application deadline Feb. 1, 2021.

Individual/Big Band Sessions – July 25- Aug 7, 2021 – Aspen, CO

For the Individual/Big Band Sessions JAS/Frost are seeking individual applicants able to perform proficiently in both combo and big band settings. Strong reading skills, experience with improvisation, doubling, and familiarity with multiple styles of jazz music are prerequisites. Application deadline March 1, 2021.

The goal of the JAS Academy is to identify and assist the most talented Artists embracing jazz fundamentally while exploring myriad related & unrelated forms of music at the highest level of quality.

Daily Program activities will include a blend of coaching from JAS Academy jazz masters & faculty members along with individual group time for rehearsal & recording. Select Frost School of Music Curricula will be introduced, addressing topics essential to developing well-rounded musicians with the tools to succeed in the 21st century music industry. Classes in recording techniques, arranging, production, touring, agent representation, artist management, contracts, website development, and digital rights will be included.

“As faculty at the Frost School of Music, I’m used to being around highly talented, ambitious young musicians…and the talent at the JAS Academy is off-the-charts! But talent and ambition are not enough. 21st century musicians aspiring to a professional life in music need a strong foundation in business and technology, along with the entrepreneurial spirit to forge their own creative path. This is my role at the JAS Academy,” said Rey Sanchez, Associate Dean for Strategic initiatives and Innovation at Frost School.

The JAS Academy is full-scholarship, with all travel, lodging, tuition and meals provide. The JAS Academy is supported annually by a multi-year gift from Sasha and Ed Bass.

Applications are being accepted now at For more information on the JAS Academy please visit

About Frost School of Music

The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is one of the largest and most highly acclaimed music schools located in a private university in the U.S., and one of the most comprehensive and relevant in all of higher education. With over 700 students and 100 faculty members, it is a top choice for instrumental, keyboard and vocal performance as well as composition, music business, music education, music engineering technology, music therapy, songwriting, jazz, studio music, and more. It is one of two schools created in 1926 when the University of Miami was founded. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost in 2003 was a historic occasion. The Frost School of Music seeks to transform lives through the study and performance of music, and to enhance music’s future as the result of the most innovative and relevant curricula in higher education.

For further information, visit:

More about JAS

Founded in 1991 and entering its 31st season, Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization which has generated over $7.5 million of support for its music education programs since 1996. The Mission of JAS is to present and preserve jazz and related forms of music through world-class events, performances, and education programs. JAS launched its acclaimed music education programs in 1996 with the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony, which became the JAS Academy Summer Sessions from 2000-2008, the nation’s only all-scholarship training program for gifted young emerging jazz artists. The Academy paired these young artists with jazz masters such as Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Russell Malone and many others in an intensive series of workshops, seminars and performances. Many of these artists have gone to become permanent members of some of the most prestigious working jazz groups today.

In addition to the JAS Academy, JAS funds and operates a wide range of music education initiatives in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. These initiatives complement existing public school music programs and replace programs where schools suffer losses in music education. Programs range from providing faculty assistance to school music instructors, instrument donations, private lesson funds, summer camps, scholarships and more.

JAS hosts two large events each summer, the JAS June Experience and the JAS Labor Day Experience. These events have featured a roster of iconic Artists through the years, ranging from Tony Bennett, BB King, Ray Charles, Harry Connick, Jr., Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Keith Urban, Maroon 5, Sting and countless others. JAS has historically presented both established and iconic Artists, as well as emerging stars, and has been there at the outset of many Artists’ growing careers since its inception.

Another Mission driven initiative, The JAS Café, was launched 2011, and has exploded in popularity in recent years. The Café features stellar artists throughout the year who embrace jazz and related diverse music in the “Jazz Spoken Globally” series, taking place at intimate venues in Aspen.  Artists featured have hailed from France, Italy, England, Japan, Cuba, Brazil, the Caribbean and the USA.

For further information, visit