The AJAM Pro Ensembles are for those dedicated to achieving the highest level of musical proficiency. Pro Ensembles focus on honing musicianship, essential skills, and the acceleration of a professional career in the music world.
These ensembles cater to the professional and semi-professional musician wishing to achieve the next level. Students will foster both their personal identity and their band identity by analyzing video and audio from live performances, establishing an extensive repertoire with an emphasis on the structural components of forms, intros, interludes and endings. These ensembles also include coaching in business development and band promotion through social media and other advertising outlets.
Areas of study include:
- Advanced improvisational concepts
- Thorough study of jazz lineage
- Comprehensive repertoire
- Development of original compositions
The classic AJAM experience. These ensembles offer students of all skill levels an environment to learn the ins and outs of playing in a band, to develop greater skill and ability on their instruments, and to build self-confidence in a collaborative and fun group atmosphere.
Comprehensive curriculum includes:
- The dynamics of playing in a group
- Reading skills
- Listening skills
- The “Big 3”; melody, rhythm and harmony
- A songwriting workshop: a safe space to bring in original ideas, hear them played by real people, and get them turned into fully arranged songs.
- A class: discover what makes a hit a hit, hone your instrumental skills and learn the power of music theory and production.
- A band (most importantly!): Play original music, develop meaningful relationships and learn how to navigate the music industry.
After Hours is for the career and post-career adult with a serious love of music and the time to finally enjoy reconnecting with their musical genes. It gives people a creative outlet for their music. Players enjoy the camaraderie of being in a band while working toward improving their musicianship. (ages 20-something to 90-something)
The After Hours “concept” is one of atmosphere… loose, relaxed, inviting. The different ensembles are tailored to the kind of progress the individual wants to make. Whether you want to just play, hang and enjoy yourself, work toward becoming a gigging musician, or all of the above, there’s an ensemble for everyone! Building “chops,” developing and growing repertoire, honing arrangements, the dynamics of playing in a group — and maybe even enjoying a good glass of wine — are all part of the curriculum.
New and pioneering styles of jazz, stomp, and swing burst onto the scene in the teens and 20s, captivating (and sometimes horrifying) the public. They went on to revolutionize American music. In this ensemble, we’ll learn the fundamentals of those styles, while checking out their amazing histories too.
Learning to play vintage jazz is a great way to work on communication, technique and groove; with a fun dose of history thrown in. Stride pianist and vintage jazz expert Andrew Oliver is leading new ensembles focusing on jazz styles of the 1920s and 30s.
Instrument Labs are group classes where we go in-depth, studying the essential techniques and concepts of your chosen instrument. These are classes where you work and play with others who share your interests, and with the guidance of our fabulous instructors, get down to the business of learning ALL THINGS about playing the instrument you love. The bullet points below are but a hint of the range of topics covered:
Drum Lab covers topics like:
- Sticking patterns
- Brushes, including pointed study of the best: Philly Joe Jones, Vernell Fournier, Ed Thigpen
- Drum set grooves
- Sight reading
- Rudimental studies
- Improvisational skills
- Song forms
- Styles: swing, ballads, latin, funk, hip-hop, rock and the numerous “fusions” that exist in our modern world
- Working within the rhythm section
- Working with a soloist
- Standard repertoire for the drum set
- Numerous songs will be analyzed, studied, and memorized
- Polyrhythmic studies including metric modulation, multi-simultaneous patterns, and cross rhythms
- Moeller technique and it’s off-shoots
- Metronome games!
Whether you’re picking up an instrument for the first time or have been playing for 30 years, AJAM’s private instruction will help develop knowledge and skills, bringing your musical capabilities to the next level
As a musician coming from a very small town in Michigan, I moved to Portland somewhat blind, just looking to get on the scene. I met Alan at one of the jam sessions and have been studying at AJAM since. AJAM has not only allowed me to meet and learn from some of not only the best musicians in Portland but some of the best in the world. Alan provides honest, reliable feedback that pushes musicians young and old, beginning and advanced, to be the best they can be, something that is hard to finds in the public schools and universities, or anywhere for that matter.
I've played tenor saxophone my whole life, but my evolution as a player stalled in my twenties. Now in my late fifties, I'm delighted to be back growing as a musician! My goal is to become a world-class tenor player and with the help of AJAM, I'm certain I will get there in this life! Given the diversity of students (age, race, gender, orientation), I feel completely welcome and at home within the AJAM community.
Studying composition with Alan is extremely rewarding. Alan urges you to compose songs that challenge you and target the weaknesses in your playing. Composing in this way was very new to me and helped me to overcome some of the obstacles I had, and still have, as a musician. Alan is also very adamant about making legible, professional charts to better establish yourself as a serious musician.
Alan Jones is one of the world’s great living jazz musicians, a completely natural, intuitive and profound musical explorer. I’ve know Alan for almost 30 years and he is my favorite drummer to play with, bar none. His depth of knowledge of, and appreciation for, the tradition of jazz is evident from the first beat, whether he’s playing his main instrument, drum set, or one of his other axes like bass, saxophone, jazz vocals or piano. As composer, arranger, virtuoso drummer and master teacher, Alan always expresses the joy of his life through music. He’s a very demanding teacher (I’m still working on my lessons with him!), but it’s worth the effort. The Alan Jones experience is not one to miss.
The Alan Jones Academy of Music offers a premiere educational experience, comparable to the quality of course work at any esteemed music conservatory or university in the world. AJAM is the place for students serious about jazz and improvisation to hone their skills while fostering their own unique sounds. Additionally, students can develop their abilities in multiple areas, such as: composition, arranging, and stylistic analysis, all areas Alan Jones is more than competent in. Alan's vast experience and unique perspective makes him one of the most special people in the music world.
Alan Jones is a committed and passionate artist-teacher who has continued to devote his energy to his students' (and his own) serious growth and accomplishment. Alan's sheer energy and his love of music, teaching, and the artistic process inspires those around him, both students and seasoned musicians.”Tom WakelingChair, Music DepartmentClackamas Community College“Very few people on this planet made me realize that confidence in your real inner dreams is it! Alan is one of them!
Even now that I am at college, I believe that my time spent at the Alan Jones Academy of Music was some of the most valuable time I have had in my development as a young musician. The engaging, “unsugar-coated” method of teaching, as well as the community that has been established because of it, will continue to be one of the greatest highlights of my experience as a music student.