Nashville, TN (TN Tribune) – In 2020, for the first time ever the Nashville Jazz Workshop hosted their popular annual jazz concert, JAZZMANIA, virtually during the pandemic and showcase their love of jazz musicians and jazz music on the world stage. This year the annual fundraising concert goes virtual again and will be held on Saturday, October 23rd hosted by Grammy Award Winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum.  Registration free to the public event and 

In the Spring of 2020 the COVID lockdown forced a suspension of in-person classes and performances for the jazz haven. The Nashville Jazz Workshop responded with online classes and streaming performances, allowing the organization to continue giving its students and audiences the ability to embark on learning and listening, and essentially, opening these experiences to people all over the world.  

Their pandemic pivot birthed memorable life experiences for music novices, musicians, and bucket listers all year long. Jazzmania 2020 followed with record numbers of streams at 6k+ amplifying the impact of jazz across the world and for the Nashville music community by Nashville Jazz Workshop.

WHO: Nashville Jazz Workshop (NJW)

WHAT: JAZZMANIA, A Annual Fundraiser and Virtual Jazz Concert 

WHEN: October 23, 2021, 7PM Central (online)


Jazzmanina 2021 will be a virtual event, boasting a world-class lineup as well as Music City notables.  Artists performing include the following acts: 

  • Anthony Wilson 
  • The Time Jumpers 
  • Kevin Whalum   
  • Tierney Sutton  
  • Jeff Hamilton 
  • Chester Thompson 
  • Donna McElroy 
  • Peter and Will Anderson 
  • Jovan Quallo 
  • Tyler Bullock 
  • Giovanni Rodriguez  

For more information on Jazzmania including charitable donations and event registration, visit


The mission of the Nashville Jazz Workshop is to expand and enrich people’s lives by offering world class jazz education and performance in supportive and creative environments. Its mission is accomplished through a workshop environment where jazz professionals pass on their knowledge and experience in a journeyman/apprentice situation, classes for players and non-players and performances to promote community appreciation of jazz.  

The organization was founded in 1998 as the Nashville Jazz Institute by Lori Mechem and Roger Spencer, and opened with a handful of students. The program was based on a workshop model developed by Mechem and Spencer growing out of their dissatisfaction with traditional academic jazz education. The workshop model is based on a journeyman/apprentice approach. Students have the chance to play with faculty and perform in different settings. The school attracted a loyal and growing following of students. It also became clear that besides helping the students and instructors, the workshop format was a unique approach to jazz education that could benefit the entire community. 

We incorporated as a nonprofit in 2000, changed the name to the Nashville Jazz Workshop, and moved to our current location in the Neuhoff Complex in East Germantown. We started new projects: visual art exhibits, student/faculty performances, a twice-monthly performance series – Snap on 2 and 4, and many other educational and performance events for the community. Along with income from tuition and events, we receive individual and corporate contributions, and public and private grant support. 


Kirk Whalum (born July 11, 1958) is an American jazz saxophonist and songwriter. He toured with Whitney Houston for more than seven years and soloed in her single “I Will Always Love You“, the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. He was also featured on many Luther Vandross albums, most often playing on the singer’s covers of older pop and R&B standards such as “Anyone Who Had a Heart“, “I (Who Have Nothing)“, and “Love Won’t Let Me Wait“.Whalum has recorded a series of well received solo albums and film soundtracks, with music ranging from pop to R&B to smooth jazz. His musical accomplishments have brought him a total of 12 Grammy nominations. He won his first Grammy award in 2011 for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do”, featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside lifelong friend and writer Jerry Peters.