Small Group Program

CCJA’s core program groups students from all over the metro area in small (7-9 piece) jazz ensembles*, who are directed by professional musician mentors. These mentors are all accomplished professional musicians, most of whom also teach at the college level, and they have a wealth of real experience to share with students. These ensembles meet weekly (in 3 ten-week sessions per school year) to rehearse, play, and perform together as they study jazz improvisation, technique, style, theory, and history. Students are also given opportunities to compose and arrange for their groups.Over the past twelve years, the program has attracted amazing young players who have become integral players in their respective school groups, members of All-State Jazz Band, and recipients of impressive scholarships to major music programs across the country. Students have also connected with other players through CCJA and have formed working bands.* CCJA also has a special 12-piece Latin Jazz Ensemble (one of the only ones in the region for teens!) Let us know if you’re interested. To get a better idea of what a small group is like check out this video.


Who: Young musicians ages 11-18 who have been playing their instrument for at least a year. All instruments welcome.



Groups in Denver, Boulder, Highlands Ranch, Fort Collins

  • Tuesdays August 21, 28  Sep 5, 12, 19, 26  Oct 3, 10, 17
  • Boulder Concert on 10/24
  • Denver & Highlands Ranch Concert on 10/25
  • Fort Collins Concert on 10/23

*Priority registration for rhythm section players ends August 10th, 2017.


Groups in Denver, Boulder, Highlands Ranch, Fort Collins, and Aurora (Grandview HS)

  • Tuesdays Nov 7, 14, 28  Dec 5, 12, 19  Jan 9, 16, 23
  • Ft Collins Concert on 1/29
  • Boulder Concert on 1/30
  • Denver, Highlands Ranch, & Aurora Concert on Jan 31


Groups in Denver, Boulder, Highlands Ranch, Fort Collins, and Aurora (Grandview HS)

  • Tuesday Feb 13, 20, 27  March 6, 13, 20, 27 (Except Spring Break: Mar 13 for FoCo, Mar 20 for Highlands Ranch, Mar 27 for Denver, Boulder) April 3, 10, 17
  • Fort Collins Concert on April 23
  • Jazz-O-Rama Concert on April 24 for Denver/Boulder/Highlands Ranch/Grandview

Groups meet at five different locations across the Front Range.

  • University of Denver, Newman Center for the Performing Arts (Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm)
  • Mountain Ridge Middle School in Highlands Ranch (Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:00pm)
  • CU – Boulder Macky Auditorium Building (Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm)
  • Grandview High School in SE Aurora (Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm)
  • CSU, University Center for the Arts in Fort Collins (Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm)

Concerts are held at local jazz venues during the last week of each session.


Fees for each 10 week session are $315, or two payments of $157.50. If you prefer to mail a check, choose the “invoice” payment option at the end of the registration process and mail to CCJA, 4505 W 36th Ave Denver, CO 80212. We offer other some need-based scholarships, so please let us know if you are interested in applying for one.

Payment policy:) At least half of the tuition for each session must be paid by the first rehearsal of each session. If you choose to pay half, the balance must be paid by the 5th rehearsal. 2) If you choose to drop out during a session, you are still responsible for the full tuition amount. We are not able to give refunds. (If you find another student to take your place, or sub for you occasionally, you can ask them to reimburse you.)

CCJA is a non-profit that depends on both tuition and fundraising for space rental, instructors, music, concerts, insurance and administrative costs. We plan the number of groups and instructors based on the number of students who register. Regardless of whether each student is at a rehearsal or not, our costs remain the same.

How to get started:

If you are interested in registering for a CCJA program, please follow the links below with our various locations:

Register for the Denver location

Register for the Boulder location

Register for the Highlands Ranch location

Register for the SE Aurora location

Register for the Fort Collins location

Upon acceptance you will receive a registration confirmation email with more information.  Sometimes there are waiting lists for certain instruments, and auditions are then held. Questions? Call Paul Romaine at 720-201-6885 .


If there are more applicants for rhythm section players than there are spots at the end of the registration period for each session, auditions will be held, based on the following requirements:

Piano: Be prepared to demonstrate II-V-I voicings, and play a jazz tune of your choice.

Guitar: 1. Play head, comp and solo on a blues. 2. Play these chords: Major 7, Dominant 7, minor 7 3. Play these Scales: C Blues, C Major

Bass: Walk 3 choruses of blues in F with these changes: F7 |Bb7 |F7 |F7 |Bb7 |Bb7 |F7 |D7 |G-7 |C7 |F7 D-7|G-7 C7:| 3x, do some sight reading, and then play something that you feel shows your strengths

Drums: a.) Melodically outline the head (melody) of a blues. b) play 32 bars, alternating 8 bars of time and 8 bars of soloing, on each of the following feels: Latin, funk, waltz (or 6/8), and swing)

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