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Thirty Years in the Schools!

Austin Jazz Workshop’s Mission:

To encourage youth participation in school music programs through campus and public jazz performances, to bring the American Jazz heritage into underserved communities, and to promote a vibrant cultural arts environment by employing local musicians of diverse ages, origins, and ethnicities.

AJW celebrates thirty years of performing with a program of Soul Jazz, featuring compositions by Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, Cannonball Adderley, Lee Morgan, Lou Donaldson, and many other soul jazz greats, as performed by Shawn Ellison, Michael Stevens, Glenn Rexach, Masumi Jones, Terrance McDaniel, Lee ‘Sparky’ Thomason, Eundo Park, Gil Del Bosque, and Paulo Santos. Find out more about our Board and musicians here!

As always, you can stay abreast of all things AJW by visiting us on Facebook!

AJW Hires New Leadership!

Terrance McDaniel has been hired for the position of Executive Director of AJW! His official duties as ED start in June 2024, and in the meantime he continues to hold down a position as one of our drummers visiting schoolchildren every week. We are thrilled to have Terrance step into an expanded leadership role with AJW. The Board of Directors is confident that he will bring new energy to our next thirty years of AJW service in Central TX public schools. Please join us in welcoming Terrance!

The Return of AJW Youth Jam!

AJW Youth Jam is a twice-monthly performance opportunity for young jazz performers of middle and high school age to sit in with Austin Jazz Workshop musicians in a ‘real gig’ setting. Thanks to a recent reboot from City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, AJW Youth Jam is back! Join Director Gil Del Bosque for a series of jam sessions showcasing younger players, with their friends and families cheering them on. They’re free, they’re fun, and they’re happening at Central Market Westgate and Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches on nineteen Sunday afternoons stretching from October 2023 through August 2024. Check out our Events Calendar for the exact dates, and join us!

This project has been financed in whole or in part by the City of Austin’s Elevate Grant Program.

Did You Know…
The Austin Jazz Workshop can save you money on your taxes?
Charitable donations of stocks and mutual funds can be made directly to the Austin Jazz Workshop, thereby avoiding capital gains tax.  Help out a good cause and lower your tax burden at the same time!  For more information, contact Michael Melinger at

Herbie Hancock Season: Return from COVID

The AJW returned to live performance in 2021-22, performing on 101 campuses between September 2021 and May 2022. Many thanks to Shawn Ellison, joined by Glenn Rexach, Michael Stevens, Masumi Jones, Terrance McDaniel, Lee ‘Sparky’ Thomason, Brian Swartz, Gil Del Bosque, and Paulo Santos. School staff and students alike, not to mention the musicians, were thrilled to be involved in live music again after eighteen months of isolation. Celebrate!

Our Livestreaming Season

The Austin Jazz Workshop’s 27th season, dedicated to the great John Coltrane, performed live-streamed assemblies and interactive workshops for students on 110 campuses. Musicians for Coltrane included Mike Sailors, Lee “Sparky” Thomason, Shawn Ellison, Michael Stevens, Glenn Rexach, Kenny Felton, Masumi Jones, and Michael Melinger.  


Austin Jazz Workshop plays Thelonious Monk

Epistrophy is our most recent CD recording, released in April 2017. Recorded at Arlyn Studios in Austin TX, the disc features Michael Melinger, Andre Hayward, Floyd Domino, Michael Stevens, and Norm Bergeron.  Pick up your copy here .  Also available at Waterloo Records, End of an Ear, and live appearances by the AJW.

AJW in the Community

Part of our mission is to collaborate with student ensembles and other nonprofit groups on public events, as well as events for the general community.

The Austin Jazz Workshop offers reduced rates to nonprofit agencies in the Austin area for your benefits, fundraisers, and special events.  It’s cheaper than you think to have top professionals provide live music for your organization!  Contact us for a quote at

Count Basie’s Big Band Sound at Central Market 

The Austin Jazz Workshop wrapped up its historic 21st season on May 29th, 2015.  The program featured musicians Shawn Ellison, Floyd Domino, Michael Stevens, Glenn Rexach, Kevin Scott, Rob Kazenel, Jimmy Shortell, Adrian Ruiz, Keith Fiala, Michael Rey, Andre Hayward, Randy Zimmerman, Ken George, Mark ‘Speedy’ Gonzales, Seth Carper, Dan Torosian, Scott Benner, Marcus Wilcher, David Webb, and Michael Melinger.  One hundred nineteen campuses across five school districts received the program that featured a ten-piece big band playing Count Basie classics.  Additionally, the AJW performed seventeen public events, such as this one at Central Market.