Russ Nolan’s JazzLabNY is a unique and valuable learning experience for anyone looking to improve their jazz playing. I’ve been participating in one of the small jazz groups for approximately six months and I have had a really great time and have learned so much. I have found my group to be a very welcome and supportive place to play without fear of judgment or one upsmanship. Additionally, Russ is great at breaking seemingly complicated theory topics down to digestible and actionable concepts. I’m very happy I found JazzLabNY and would recommend it to anyone interested in taking their jazz playing to the next level” — Joe S. 
Verified Google Business Review


JazzLabNY Small Groups consist of adult musicians who have studied privately or have some jazz and improvising experience all the way up to serious, semi-pro musicians and full-time music teachers. Small Groups meet twice a month for 2 hours each year round plus Performance Opportunities. Each 5-7 person group is assembled according to experience level. Regular Rehearsals + a Consistent Band + Instruction = Long-Term Growth! JazzLabNY covers the cost of the studio, prepares the music, forms the groups, and coaches the sessions. YOU JUST SHOW UP AND PLAY IN YOUR REGULAR BAND!  Prospective students are invited to visit and observe sessions at no charge. Contact us for session times, locations, and investment programs offered based on your musical goals.


  • LEARN TO BE A CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF A BAND. Nonverbal communication,
    pro level group dynamics, focused listening, and Bandleading are all addressed.
  • Pragmatic, useful Jazz THEORY, COMPOSITION, RHYTHM, AND ANALYSIS methods are discussed in every
    session as well as MELODIC DEVELOPMENT. Student compositions are also encouraged.
  • PLAYING (not lecture) is what it’s all about. This is the place to put into action your many hours
    and years of practicing and private study. You will have plenty of time just to play with your band
    members, and yet you will also leave with a clear understanding of what to practice for the next session.
  • RECITALS & GIGS are the goal. There is no long-term growth without them! JazzLabNY groups perform at reputable NYC venues and clubs for your friends and family to hear.

Private Coaching is available on all instruments, whether students are placed in a regular band and need help on the existing repertoire, or need time to get the music together so they can join one. If you like your current private instructor, stay with them! JazzLabNY is the environment in which you can work out the concepts you are being taught. That is the only way they stick!

Not Ready to Commit to a Regular Band? No Problem! Once your experience level is assessed, we will offer to place you on a band’s sub list. Many of our best students started here.