2021 Enrollment:

Enrollment for the 2021 will be delayed. We are hoping to have an in-person workshop this summer, but are waiting and hoping that COVID vaccination will allow us to do that. We'll provide news as it comes. If you want to be informed, contact us and you'll be the first to know if we'll be meeting in person or virtually.

3 minute video about workshop:

High School / Adults- 10am to 5pm

Middle School- 1 to 4pm

Welcome to the internet home of the Detroit Jazz Workshop. This is your opportunity to learn about and sign up for an educational and fun experience for a week in July.


The DJW is instructed by some of the best musicians in the region, most being respected university instructors and all top-level professionals. The DJW services all ages, levels, and backgrounds and is open to any instrument, traditional or not. This includes vocalists.





  • High school students
  • Middle school students
  • Working professionals of any music genre
  • Amateur and retired musicians
  • College students
  • Traditional Jazz instrumentalists (sax, trumpet...)
  • Non-traditional instruments (violin, flute, etc...)
  • Vocalists with jazz backgrounds or not
  • Musicians with interests in composition and arranging
  • Students with no experience in jazz
  • Students with much experience
  • Jazz musicians interested in networking





The DJW has an incredibly diverse array of classes and clinics, starting at beginner to advanced level. The only commonality is that everyone learns about improvisation and performs with students of like-experience in a jazz concert at the end of the week.




  • 4 Levels of Jazz Theory classes 
  • Elective classes in jazz arranging, jazz history, jazz composition, and jazz keyboard (for non-pianists)
  • 4 Levels of Improvisation clinics
  • 3 Guest Master-classes
  • Career based clinics for professionals
  • Different level ensembles to practice and perform
  • Cliff Bells Performance for high school / adult combos on Sunday
  • Cliff Bells Performance for vocalists on Monday evening





  • Beginning level improvisation workshop
  • Guest clinicians
  • Beginning jazz concepts
  • All-Star Middle School Big Band and/or Combo
  • Performance at Cliff Bells on Monday evening





  • $50 application fee due, ASAP to reserve your spot
  • $399 tuition for high school/adult students 
  • $249 tuition for middle school students 
  • Tuition is paid at the workshop registration on July 6




  • The workshop is held this year at the music facilities at the MSU Detroit Center on 3408 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201. It is hosted by The MSU Community Music School.
  • The workshop date is Monday July 6 to Friday July 10
  • The high school/adult workshop is 10am to 5pm, M-F
  • The middle school workshop is 1pm-4pm, M-F
  • The weekend performances are at Cliff Bells Jazz Club on Sunday, July 12 and Monday, July 13 (evenings)


For people in SE Michigan, this an affordable alternative to out of town camps like Interlochen, Jamey Aebersold, and Blue Lake. You don't have to take a complete, room and board vacation to attend the DJW. If you are from out of town, we can assist in advice for arrangements food, lodging, and travel.


Please take some time and browse this site. Check out photos from past years, instructor bios, testimonials, past guest artists, and class/clinic descriptions. Feel free to ask any questions.


You can reserve your spot with a $50 application fee, payable online on Paypal or through check by mail. Tuition is due at workshop registration. There is limited room available, and enrollment is first come first serve. Make your plans now for yourself or the musician in your life who would benefit from a creative, educational, fun experience.


See you in July,


Scott Gwinnell

Director, Detroit Jazz Workshop




The Metro-Detroit Jazz Workshop is hosted by MSU's Community Music School

The MDJW has been featured on:

Middle School

Ages 10-13

July 6 to 10


Concert on Mon July 13

Cliff Bells Jazz Club






The 2020 Summer Jazz Week is at:

Detroit Jazz Workshop


Michigan St. University

Detroit Building


3408 Woodward Ave, Detroit MI 48201

(Midtown, just south of Mack Ave)

(for MDJW, call 313-570-3002)

The mailing location for DJW:

40534 Aynesley St.

Clinton Township, MI 48038



High School / Adult

Ages 14-100

July 6 to 10


Concert on Sun July 12

Cliff Bells Jazz Club






Master-Clinician Chris Buzzelli Demonstrates Phrasing
Master-Clinician Chris Buzzelli Demonstrates Phrasing




-I enjoyed being able to talk to the faculty individually and there being enough free time for them to allow those types of one-on-ones. - Professional bassist


-Listening to really good musicians play.- High school trumpeter


-I honestly had such an amazing week.  I went to a camp at a university for saxophone last year and did not gain nearly as much knowledge there as I did in the just the first day of MDJW.  I loved the master clinic with Damani Phillips.  It was great to meet him and network a little bit. Skip Norris was fantastic also.  I also loved how we could decide which classes to go to for improv and theory because I am somewhere in the middle of advanced and intermediate-it was perfect for me to customize my own schedule.  Speaking of which, I loved Miles Brown's lectures on Free Improv-I gained so much knowledge from those sessions. Scott Gwinnell’s theory classes really helped me visualize the basics of jazz theory that I have never really been taught before.  Overall I am so happy I did this, I am so excited to use the tools I learned and become an even better jazz musician.

- College jazz studies alto saxophonist


-Meeting new friends with similar interests. - Amateur adult guitarist


-So many good vibes! Nothing but that! - High school bassist


-Talking with staff, especially Wayne State University faculty.  Motivated me to register for some classes there. - Amateur adult drummer


-The mix of ages and levels of the participants and the accessibility of the instructors.  Great variety of subject matter to choose from.

- Amateur adult electric bassist


-There is not enough space to go into all of the things I enjoyed about the workshop.  Suffice to say I had very high expectations that were exceeded ten fold!  The faculty were encouraging, helpful, extremely knowledgeable and very accessible. I was humbled by all I don't know and inspired to work harder for next summer's session. I leave the workshop reinvigorated to step outside of my comfort zone and just go for it.  Very special thanks for Delaine Gwinnell for all her incredible hard work and terrific attitude, she was the glue that held everything together. - Amateur adult electric bassist


-It was a real learning experience. - Amatuer adult pianist


-Learning chords and how they can be applied to solos.

- High school alto saxophonist


-My combo, instruction by Russ Miller, master classes.

- Amateur adult baritone saxophonist


-The incredible information that the instructors shared as well as the opportunity to listen to the musicians and to play. - Amateur adult flutist


-My teachers were fun and knew what they were doing. Jordan Schug and John Hill were great. Legitness was legit. - Middle-school guitar student


-I have to say.....what I enjoyed most was singing at Cliff Bell's.  For me, as a professional wanna be,  I feel it is an honor and a thrill not only to sing.....but to be accompanied by the finest musicians in the metro Detroit area!

- Amateur adult vocalist


-As for the overall structure of the workshop, I like the way classes were set up according to level....blue, green, red...making it easier to make the best choice for ourselves.   Also, having the option to move to another class if we feel it necessary is good. - High school pianist


-I enjoyed the instrument classes the most because it gave the most information and taught me the most about how to better play jazz throughout the week.

- Amateur adult bassist


Teaching, working with April Tini, working with the students, being around Scott and Delaine Gwinnell, and meeting such wonderful musicians.  I can't thank you enough for including me.  Needless to say I would LOVE to do it again next year!!! - Professional vocalist


-I got great exposure to jazz.  Instructors and fellow students were  consistently  helpful and supportive.  I was poorly prepared for playing my instrument at the level required,  This didn't seem to matter to anyone.  i got great tips on how to practice and become more proficient before Jazz Week VIII.  I thoroughly enjoyed interacting, musically and in conversation, with the faculty and fellow students. thanks for the experience! - Adult amateur acoustic bassist


-I'm very frugal with spending money for music education.  I could have gone 2 hours a day instead of 7 and still got my money's worth.  I look for blind spots -- areas that I never considered studying because I did not know they existed.  It is also very useful to be reminded of lessons that I've neglected from the past.

- Adult amateur electric bassist


-Being surrounded by such knowledgeable teachers who were so open about sharing info.  There was no feeling of competition or winning and losing.  We all get enough of that on the outside, so it was refreshing to have a break from it.  That said, there was still a feeling that everyone was trying to do their best, and this came as a result of the respectful encouragement of the staff.

Professional vocalist


-I can't say enough good things about this experience. Scott and Delaine you are treasures for our Detroit music community. Thank you! - Professional harpist


-Playing with and hanging out with the other guys in my combo - High school alto saxophonist


-(I enjoyed) Playing the drum set. - High school drummer


-(I enjoyed the) Master classes. - Retired professional electric bassist


-I loved how much the vocal workshop has grown over the years. This time, we had a pretty large group and many awesome singers. We also had more time to work with the vocal instructors this year. This was very helpful in the development of each of the singers. - College vocal music student


-Meeting some really cool pros and future pros and feeling more confident playing in front of heavy players. - College jazz studies major, drummer


-Terrific program. I have enough material to practice until next year.

- Amateur adult alto saxophonist


-What I enjoyed most about the workshop was playing in the Jobim combo.

- High school drummer


-The amazing professors and musicians helping there. - High school euphonist


- (I enjoyed) Russ Miller's teaching. - Amateur adult alto saxophonist


- I enjoyed working with the vocalists every day and helping them achieve their personal goals. April Tini and Susan Tobocman were very accommodating and complimented each other well. They both have more than enough experience, but it is different from each side. Susan comes from a very performance based education, while April comes from a traditional music education background and teaching background. Susan helped students express themselves while April made sure that they could communicate well on the bandstand. These are all very valuable for singers just starting out. - College jazz studies student, vocalist


- Playing and connecting with jazz musicians from all over Michigan and the country. - High school drummer


-In general, it was really inspiring to be immersed in jazz for a week and to meet more professional musicians and fellow students. A couple highlights for me include participating in the master-class with Chris Buzzelli and the green composition class when we experimented with each other's original ideas. I also really enjoyed Russ Miller's simple structures class. I feel like there's enough for a lifetime in each one of those sessions.

- College student of another major, guitarist.

Instructor Douglas performs with students of Freddie Hubbard Combo at Cliff Bells
Instructor Douglas performs with students of Freddie Hubbard Combo at Cliff Bells
April Tini Directs Vocal Workshop with assistance from Susan Tobocman
April Tini Directs Vocal Workshop with assistance from Susan Tobocman