Jazz and Popular Music Institute
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Jazz and Popular Music Institute


The Jazz and Popular Music Institute (JPMI) provides students with the opportunity to explore a wide range of contemporary styles, from jazz to rock and world music to pop. JPMI inspires students to look at collaboration through multiple lenses in order to develop their own identity within a musically diverse community.

Click here to learn more about our summer workshop week!


meet our community 

JPMI is a dynamic community of musicians coming together to explore their craft. Through small ensembles, private lessons, workshops and performances, students of all ages will gain musical experience within a supportive space that encourages them to push beyond their comfort zones.

Meet our faculty

The JPMI faculty is composed of award-winning and industry-recognized performers with extensive conservatory training and teaching experience. This unparalleled group offers expertise in a range of genres, from gypsy jazz to fusion and traditional music from around the world.


Audition Days

Most auditions are short and low-key, giving the student a chance to get to know our artistic director, Luke Nelson. See what new musical horizons await you! 

audition Requirements 

All students must audition for these ensembles on one of the two Audition Days, including returning students.

Jazz Combos / Hot Club
  • Perform a solo version of a classic jazz composition (beginning students may use part of an arrangement as performed in an ensemble). *Strings auditioning for Hot Club may use a classical piece.
  • Improvisation: Students should be prepared to demonstrate their improvisation experience either on a Bb blues or rhythm changes.
  • Rhythm Section: Demonstrate accompanying and comping skills.
  • A brief interview about musical experiences and interests.
American Roots Ensemble
  • Perform an American Roots song (folk, country, blues, gospel).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of either melodies or chords (depending on instrument) from the folk music tradition.
  • A brief interview about musical experiences and interests.
Hartt Harmony
  • Perform a song a cappella, demonstrating vocal quality, musicality, and performance techniques.
  • A brief interview about musical experiences and interests.
Rock Band
  • Perform a solo version of a classic rock song.
  • Rhythm Section: Demonstrate ability to accompany using chords, rhythms and bass lines (depending on instrument) in a variety of styles, tempos, and grooves.
  • A brief interview about musical experiences and interests.

Should you have any questions regarding a JPMI audition, please contact Luke Nelson at lunelson@hartford.edu.

Private lessons

To inquire about private lessons with our JPMI faculty, please call us at 860.768.4451 or e-mail Private Lesson Coordinator Jessica Rost.