New Music Director! 
The Austin Jazz Workshop welcomes Shawn Ellison as the new Music Director of the nonprofit corporation.  Shawn will take the helm for the upcoming AJW Season #28, Takin’ Off! With Herbie Hancock.  A long-time member of the ensemble, we are ‘jazzed’ to see him step into his new role as AJW Music Director.  Welcome, Shawn!

Herbie Hancock Personnel includes Shawn Ellison, Glenn Rexach, Michael Stevens, Masumi Jones, Terrance McDaniel, Paulo Santos, Gil Del Bosque, Lee ‘Sparky’ Thomason, and Mike Sailors.  The season will commence in mid-September 2021 and run through May of 2022.

Emerging Jazz Talent (EMJATA) is a weekly or bi-monthly performance opportunity for young jazzers of middle and high school age to sit in with the Austin Jazz Workshop in a safe and supportive public setting.  The program has been on hiatus due to the pandemic since March of 2020, but we hope to get it up and running again in January of 2022.  Watch this space for future developments!


Saxophonist Michael Melinger and bassist Michael Stevens laying down some Trane on Season #27, “John Coltrane’s Giant Steps”.

It’s a Wrap!  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. 


Sparky Thomason and Shawn Ellison tearin’ it up via livestream!

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 512-829-7255 or


Epistrophy: Austin Jazz Workshop plays Thelonious Monk is our latest 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.


You can donate to the AJW simply by shopping Amazon!  When ordering, point your browser to and specify the Austin Jazz Workshop as your chosen recipient charity.  The AJW will get a portion of every dollar you spend!



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 (512) 829-7255.


Visit the AJW on Facebook!


Count Basie’s Big Band Sound at Central Market      

AJW Count Basie Edition

AJW Count Basie Edition, Texas Community Music Festival 4.18.2015  Front row, from left: David Webb (not visible), Andre Hayward, Ken George, Marcus Wilcher, Seth Carper, Michael Melinger.  Back row, from left: Michael Stevens, Kevin Scott, Adrian Ruiz, Keith Fiala.


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 the one at Central Market pictured above.

AJW in Action!
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