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The Jazz Forum Student Ensemble

Become a Jazz improviser! For aspiring Jazz musicians, grades 5-12.

Jazz Forum Arts is excited to offer a new ensemble program for aspiring young musicians, offering them the opportunity to become Jazz improvisers.

Under the direction of Ron Vincent and Nancy Kennedy and using a repertoire of blues and jazz standards, these ensembles will give students a chance to learn the tools of improvisation, melodic development and basic Jazz harmony. Students will explore Jazz while playing in a group setting of their peers under the experienced guidance of the Ensemble Directors.

Contact Information

Do you have any questions about the program? Please contact Ron Vincent, Director of the Jazz Forum Student Ensemble.

Email: [email protected]

You can also call our office:
(914) 631-1000

Join the Ensemble

1) Register Your Interest

Register your interest before purchasing tickets. Last day to register is January 23.

2) Purchase Your PRogram ticket

Please do not purchase your program tickets until we connect with you after registering your interest.

Educator Ron Vincent teaching children

Learn to play in a Jazz ensemble.

Students playing in the ensemble

Become a Jazz improviser.

Students practicing instruments

All instruments are welcome.

About the Student Ensemble

We build a new student ensemble every Spring & Fall.

The 10-week program will include a 90-minute weekly class and an end-of-semester concert.

In order to participate it is recommended students have a minimum two years experience on their instrument and a basic knowledge of major scales, fingerings and are comfortable reading music. There will be a consultation for admission to help ensure balanced ensembles. We welcome all interested students.

The Jazz Forum Student Ensemble is supported by the Marcia Polayes Foundation.


  • For students, grades 5-12
  • 10 weeks plus an end-of-semester concert
  • February 6 to April 3
  • Mondays 5:30-7:00pm (90 minutes)
  • Held at the Jazz Forum: 1 Dixon Ln, Tarrytown, NY
  • Scholarships available! Please mention the scholarship in the registration form.

In the News

Check out this article about the Jazz Forum Student Ensemble by ArtsWestchester: Fostering a Love of Jazz in Teens

November 28, 2022

Check out this article about the Jazz Forum Student Ensemble by The Hudson Independent: A Chance for Kids to Learn Jazz ‘Improv’

January 12, 2023

Ron Vincent - Jazz Forum Student Ensemble Director

Ron Vincent, Program Director

Drums, percussion and educator

Since 1987 Ron has presented workshops at over 100 Colleges and Universities, has been on the faculty of the Jamie Aebersold Jazz Camps and the Stanford Jazz Camp (CA).

In 1996 Ron received a National Endowment for the Arts grant for Jazz performance. In 2012, as a faculty member for the non-profit RiverArts, Ron formed the RiverArts Jazz Ensembles which over 10 years grew to 3 ensembles and in 2014 he established the RiverArts Jazz Camp which flourished until the pandemic in 2020. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Ron attended Berklee College of Music where he received a B.A. in Music Ed.

After touring the U.S. with a variety of Jazz groups, Ron lived in Kansas City for three years (79-82), and settled in New York City in 1982. Since then, Ron has become a veteran of the New York City Jazz scene. Working often as a sideman he has been recorded on over 90 CDs. Ron was a member of the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and the Re- Birth of the Cool Tentet from 1989 until Mr. Mulligan’s passing in 1996. He recorded four CDs with Mr. Mulligan and has also recorded with Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Randy Brecker, Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Charlap, John Lewis and Slide Hampton to name a few.

As a leader, his own trio and quartet are active in the New York City area and his quartet has toured the U.S. and Europe.

Nancy Kennedy - Jazz Forum Student Ensemble Co-Director

Nancy Kennedy, Co-Director

Pianist, composer and educator

Nancy Kennedy has long been committed to sharing her love of Jazz, improvisation, composition and the piano with her audience and her students. A dedicated educator and piano instructor, Ms Kennedy currently serves on the faculty at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry.

She has been on piano faculty at Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY; The New England Conservatory of Music; The New School of Music, Cambridge, MA; Greenwich House Music School, NYC and Bloomingdale House of Music, NYC. Nancy also taught for RiverArts, a non-profit in Westchester, where she worked to develop their Summer Jazz Camp and Student Jazz Ensemble program.

As a Jazz artist, Nancy toured Europe with her quintet where her work won acclaim in Italy and France. Her music is engaging, vibrant and energetic with a contemporary Jazz flavor. As a composer, Nancy received an Artist’s Fellowship in Music Composition from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Fellowship from the I. Austin Kelly Fund for the Arts at MIT and a Meet the Composer sponsorship for her work with the Brooklyn Jazz Composer’s Orchestra.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Nancy is a 30 year resident of the New York area.

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