Chetham’s team of specialist jazz teachers provides an exciting and diverse programme which accommodates both first study jazz players and other students who are keen to broaden their skills and experience.
Every student at Chetham’s has the opportunity to attend improvisation sessions with Steve Berry, with a range of groups catering for different ages and levels of experience. Tutors Les Chisnall and Iain Dixon also offer more specialist classes in jazz theory, jazz harmony, aural and transcription.
"Studying Jazz at Chetham's allows us to enhance our creative abilities, and become greater musicians. At school we have had amazing opportunities to perform to/with great jazz musicians such as Trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti and ex-Chetham's student Gwilym Simcock. Performing in Masterclasses for these amazing musicians has been a great asset to my playing, and for them to pass on all of their extensive knowledge to myself and other students is an honour!" - Harrison, trombone, year 13
All trumpet, trombone, saxophone, string bass and percussion players also participate in performances by one of three Big Bands, who play regularly in school, at Manchester’s Band on the Wall and further afield. In 2017, Big Band 1 player a key role in the Opening Weekend of The Stoller Hall, accompanying comedian and musician Ted Robbins in an evening of Sinatra classics. The Big Bands have worked with eminent musicians including Don Lusher, Kenny Baker, John Escreet, Bobby Shew, Mark Nightingale, Jiggs Wigham, Frank Mantooth, Pete King, Bob Mintzer, Jim Hart, Paul Clarvis, Alan Barnes, Jean Toussaint and Rex Richardson, as well as Chetham’s alumnus, jazz pianist and composer Gwilym Simcock.
Chetham’s jazz students have progressed to leading courses at the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, Juilliard School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. The vibrant music scene in Manchester also provides students with a wealth of opportunities to see major artists in local venues, and to expand their ambitions and repertoire by hearing international jazz performers live onstage.