Jazz Study

Anton is an exceptional player & inspirational teacher... and a lot of fun! He is organized & prepared, and so well versed in so many aspects of jazz performance and education... What more could a student want in a teacher?! — Susan Muscarella, Director, The California Jazz Conservatory

Anton Schwartz possess the perfect blend of musicianship; a top-flight saxophonist, an inspired composer, and a professional with a keen sense of the music industry and the jazz community-at-large. His teaching combines these gifts into…

…a unique presentation of sophistication, clarity, and personality; before you know it you've got the keys in your pocket! Joe Gilman, Musical Director, The Brubeck Institute

I've really enjoyed your approach in the weekly workout sessions. Your teaching style strikes me as a rare combination of clarity, curiosity, creativity, and practicality. Michael Gold, saxophonist

Anton is a superb teacher. He listens to my playing and singles out specific areas for me to focus on, which has improved my improvisation dramatically. He is engaging & enthusiastic... Terrigal Burn, pianist

Anton Schwartz, Jazz Educator

Anton enjoys sharing his love of the music and the craft of jazz with aspiring musicians, both professional and recreational. He has taught extensively at the California Jazz Conservatory, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop and the the Brubeck Institute. He has been Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University and the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony and has mentored advanced high school jazz musicians through the KPLU School of Jazz program and the Bellevue Jazz Festival Rising Stars program. He also teaches privately in Seattle and Oakland.

To stay posted four times a year on Anton’s teaching activities, as well as pointers and thoughts about learning jazz, sign up for his jazz education email list.

Individual Lessons

75 minutes $90

Anton teaches lessons out of his studios in Seattle, Washington and Oakland, California. He works with intermediate and advanced students of diverse instruments who have an interest in some or all of the following:

  • Improvising fluidly over chord changes
  • Powerful expression through music
  • Internalizing advanced harmony
  • Fluency in the many idioms of jazz, plus funk & blues
  • Phrasing
  • Saxophone technique, including sound production, articulation, altissimo and inflections.
  • The physics of musical sound
  • Efficient practice methods for a busy lifestyle

Anton particularly loves working with musicians who have studied scales and chords but are frustrated in their efforts to use those devices to make great solos.

Combo Lessons

90 minutes $120

Anton works with jazz combos at his studio, on either a one-time or a periodic basis. He listens to their playing, points out areas of strength and weakness, coaches them to improve the weak areas during the lesson and suggests ways for them to further develop on their own. He has worked with beginning to advanced groups since 1995, at the Jazzschool, The Brubeck Institute and the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and has taught entire courses and workshops on a great number of the components that go into successful ensemble playing.

Anton is an accomplished & effective clinician.

He gives workshops frequently at a variety of institutions.
Below are some of his upcoming teaching engagements.

Upcoming Events

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Jul 31 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA


“Playing the Heck out of Blue Bossa”

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Blue Bossa is one of the most frequently called beginner-level tunes at jam sessions, so it’s important for any developing jazz musician to know. Its simplicity also makes it a great vehicle for students who are new to chord changes or having trouble playing over them with ease. The instructor will present the tune in a way that makes it easy to internalize, and give lots of practical advice about how to improvize over it. Students improvise (optional but encouraged) and are critiqued, with recommendations given for a direct path to improvement.

Jul 31 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA


Saxophone Masterclass: Sound Like a Professional

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What is it about the playing of a great jazz saxophonist that makes it sound so fluid and professional? Tone, intonation, time and note choice are all important, but they are not enough. In this workshop we observe and discuss in close detail many of the choices of note attack, emphasis, contour, duration, and release that differentiate a master from an average player. Students will be critiqued and interactively guided by the instructor to overcome their individual obstacles. Participation is encouraged but not required. Participating attendees should prepare this étude to play for critique: antonjazz.com/etude. Those who find the étude difficult are encouraged to prepare it at a slow tempo, or prepare a piece such as Doxy or Tenor Madness.

Aug 1 Monday
Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop - Lafayette, CA


August 1 – August 5

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Aug 20 Saturday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA


“Playing the Heck out of the Jazz Blues”

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The 12 bar blues is the single most important set of chord changes in jazz. It is crucial that jazz musicians be able to improvise over the changes fluidly, both because of the vast number of songs that use them, and the extent to which the blues and its many variations contain the harmonic building blocks that make up all jazz standards. In this workshop, students improvise over the blues (optional but encouraged. Bb or F concert key.) and are critiqued, with recommendations given for a direct path to improvement. Student improvisations will serve as a springboard for discussions of the many harmonic possibilities afforded by the blues.

Aug 20 Saturday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA


“Happy Endings: The Art of Ending a Tune”

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The final moments of a song are crucial to the lasting impression it leaves. This workshop for both rhythm section players and soloists addresses all the practical elements of pulling it off in style. Topics include: ritards, taking harmonic cues, playing over single and multiple fermatas, arranged endings, endings on the fly, nonverbal band communication. Bring your instruments (optional but encouraged), as there will be playing and critique. Prerequisites: Experience performing songs and improvising.

You may also browse a list of workshops Anton has offered in the past.