Jazz Port Townsend
Registration for our 2024 Workshop opens January 2, 2024

About Jazz

July 22-28, 2024

Refine your style, get in the groove, play into the night at Jazz Port Townsend, one of Centrum’s oldest music programs.

First developed in 1979, the Jazz Port Townsend workshop is open to instrumentalists and singers high school-aged and above. Approximately 200 participants focus on developing improvisational skills in a small group setting. Master classes and performances are given each day by over 30 world-class faculty, all hand-picked by Artistic Director John Clayton. The week culminates in a series of concerts in which all participants have an opportunity to perform.

“I wish to thank you for all your help and encouragement in [Port Townsend]. The clinic was absolutely wonderful and I was very fortunate to be able to spend a week with such incredible players…To think a couple of months ago, I was ready to consider doing something else.” – Diana Krall, early Jazz PT participant

Jazz Facts

Experience Jazz

The workshop features immersive coaching, master classes, individual combos, daily jam sessions, faculty performances, special topic classes and more.

There are three ways to participate: the in-person instrumental or vocal track, the in-person educator track, and the online audit option for those who can’t be here in person. Auditions are required for the in-person instrumental or vocal tracks.


Photo of George Cables

George Cables


When George Cables was going to school in New York City he used to walk the streets at night, taking in the cosmopolitan sights and sounds, mentally recording his encounters with “so many different kinds of people.” In his musical career as well, Cables has prowled side streets and main thoroughfares in relative anonymity, absorbing countless influences into his personal style.

Photo of Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton


Gerald Clayton searches for honest expression in every note he plays. With harmonic curiosity and critical awareness, he develops musical narratives that unfold as a result of both deliberate searching and chance uncovering. The four-time GRAMMY-nominated pianist/composer formally began his musical journey at the prestigious Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where he received the 2002 Presidential Scholar of the Arts Award.…

Photo of John Clayton

John Clayton

Artistic Director, Jazz Port Townsend

Bassist, Composer, Arranger and Producer, John Clayton, is a busy man. With a Grammy on his shelf and nine additional nominations, artists such as Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Regina Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gladys Knight, Queen Latifah, and Charles Aznavour have had spots on his crowded calendar.

Photo of Dawn Clement

Dawn Clement


Pianist, composer, and vocalist Dawn Clement moved two years ago from Seattle to Denver, Colorado, to take on the role of Assistant Professor and Area Coordinator of the Jazz and American Music Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Photo of Chuck Easton

Chuck Easton


Multi-instrumentalist and composer Chuck Easton is equally at home on the bass, flute, piano, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and violin, though he is best known for his jazz guitar work.

Gwen Franz

Program Manager Chamber Music, Brazilian Choro, and Jazz Port Townsend

Gwen Franz is excited to join the Centrum team as the Program Manager of Chamber Music, Choro, and Jazz. She brings many years of experience as a classical violist, soloist, chamber musician, orchestral member, recording artist and concert producer. Gwen discovered Fiddle Tunes at Centrum in 2007, then became a regular attender of the Brazilian Choro Workshop since 2010, and in 2019, was a participate in Jazz Port Townsend.…

Photo of Wycliffe Gordon

Wycliffe Gordon


Wycliffe Gordon’s busy schedule encompasses performing, composing, arranging and recording. He is the recipient of many awards: He has been named him “Trombonist of the Year” 12 times The Jazz Journalists Association, and “Best Trombone” five of the past six years by the Downbeat Critics Poll.

Photo of Randy Halberstadt

Randy Halberstadt


Randy Halberstadt has been a major figure on the Pacific Northwest jazz scene for many years. A pianist, arranger, composer, lyricist, and author, Randy enjoys an international performing career playing with musicians at the top of their game.

Photo of Jon Hamar

Jon Hamar


Jon Hamar is a versatile bassist who is comfortable in virtually any musical situation. Born in Kennewick, Washington he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Double Bass Performance from Eastern Washington University and a Master’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music.

Photo of Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton


Versatile drummer Jeff Hamilton brings originality to every group he performs with, and it’s one of the things that makes him constantly in demand, whether for recording, performing with his trio, or co-leading the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.

Photo of Terrell Stafford

Terrell Stafford


Acclaimed New York–based trumpet player Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Since the mid-90s Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band.

Photo of Ben Wendel

Ben Wendel


Grammy nominated saxophonist Ben Wendel was born in Vancouver, Canada and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, he has enjoyed a varied career as a performer, composer and producer. Highlights include tours, performances and/or recordings with artists such as Tigran Hamasyan, Bill Frisell, Terence Blanchard, Antonio Sanchez, Gerald Clayton, Taylor Eigsti, Linda May Han Oh, Moonchild, Louis Cole, Daedelus, Snoop Dogg and the artist formerly known as Prince.…

Photo of Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson


Grammy nominee Matt Wilson leads the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree-O, and the Carl Sandburg Project.

Centrum has a variety of ways to be able to attend our workshops even if you’re on a budget. Tuition costs may also be discounted by joining in with the Transcription Project or applying for a scholarship when registering.


Coming soon.

Auditions are required for in-person instrumental or vocal track workshop participants in Jazz Port Townsend. Your audition helps us place you in combos or groups with other instrumentalist or singers. We expect a wide range of abilities, and we want to make the experience as dynamic and well-matched as possible.

All applicants, including past participants, must submit audition recordings and an audition form regardless of age or musical experience. They should be a reflection of your current work. Some instruments—especially piano—will have more applicants than we have room for. Available spots are open until filled. Just submitting your audition does not guarantee placement in the workshop, so the sooner you send in your audition materials, the sooner we can confirm your acceptance.

To submit your audition you must first register for the workshop. After applying, you will receive an email that includes login instructions to upload your audition form.

Next, download the audition packet for your instrument below, and follow the instructions completely.

Audition Packets

  • Coming soon


We provide a quality acoustic piano in every room, but we don’t provide free drums, amps, or any other instruments. All participants except pianists need to bring or rent everything they need to make music (including a music stand). 

You can rent drums, basses, and amps from three sources and they will be delivered to Centrum.

  • A limited number of drum sets are available to rent through Centrum. You can request one of these as part of your online application.
  • Kennelly Keys Music. Call Ryan Henriksen at 425-771-7020 or email rh@kennellykeysmusic.com for details.
  • Crossroads Music. Call 360-385-1471 or email info@crossroads-music.com for details.


Scholarships are available for those who are not able to afford full tuition. If the full tuition is a significant financial burden to you, please select the scholarship/work-trade when you register. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served; and as-needed basis. Apply online as you register. Please note that except in rare cases, scholarships are available for tuition only. Centrum requires a $100 deposit of scholarship applicants,

Room & Board

Meals are served at Fort Worden Commons. The first meal is dinner on Monday, July 24; the last meal is breakfast on Sunday, July 30.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

Instrumental or Vocal Track: Coming soon

Educator Track: Coming soon

Online: Coming soon



Participants with a wide range of abilities and experience attend the workshop each year. We have ensembles and classes to fit seasoned professionals, beginning improvisers, and everyone in between. Please note that even the beginning classes are designed for people who already have a reasonable degree of skill on their instrument or voice. The typical high school student (or older) who has been playing since 5th or 6th grade does just fine.

Jazz Port Townsend is open to instrumentalists and singers high-school age and older. Full-time professional dorm counselors are on duty all week for participants under 18, and dorms are assigned according to age and gender.

No matter how old or young you are, instrumental and vocal musicians must all submit an audition file to be able to register. Tuition costs may also be discounted by joining in with the Transcription Project or applying for a scholarship when registering.

Coming soon


Coming soon


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