Combo Lvl 2

Instructor: Ben Thomas
Level(s): 2
Monday, 5:45pm - 7:15pm
This class is open to: Any Instrument
Regular price $645.00

This course will meet weekly on Mondays, running April 1st - June 3rd.
Spring End of Quarter Performances will be June 6th-8th.

Ben Thomas leads this level 2 combo and is one of the most experienced and fun teachers in the Pacific Northwest. Ben Thomas D.M.A. leads his combos with excitement and a deep knowledge of of the subject matter. He is known for pushing his students to perform at their highest potential while keeping things fun and engaging. Emphasis is placed on further developing improvisation vocabulary, deepening knowledge of the jazz tradition, and broadening exposure to different types of jazz and improvisational music. Music is selected by the instructor with input from students and tends to be drawn from the standard jazz canon.

Homework: Homework is comprised of playing assignments based on the combo music and individual needs. Student Requirements: Punctual attendance and desire to learn and improve. Students supply their instruments.

Important Note Regarding Combo Placement: Jazz Night School is dedicated to finding the best learning experience for everyone involved. Some of the criteria we consider in determining combo placements include: matching ability levels within groups, compatibility of individuals in the groups (students and instructors), allowing the highest number of students to participate, student availability, and date of registration. Despite our best efforts, there is always a chance that an individual may not be able to be placed in a combo.

This is a 10 week course meeting in-person once a week for 90 minutes.

Skills assessment or previous enrollment in the same level combo is required.

Beginning, intermediate, or advanced

Jazz Night School is a vibrant and welcoming community-based nonprofit music education program that is home to hundreds of like-minded learners. Our school offers great opportunities to meet other dedicated jazz students and artists. Whatever your skill level, we have a place for you.

Schedule a skills assessment

We strongly encourage all new students to schedule a complimentary skills assessment so we can help you figure out the best place to start.

Online learning

At this time, Jazz Night School is providing live online classes and we are welcoming students from all locations. 

What is it like to learn with us?

As a student at Jazz Night School, you'll be part of a friendly, supportive community that shares a love and deep appreciation for jazz music in all its various forms. Your development as a musician is our primary educational goal. Whatever your skill level, our program can help you improve your musicianship and discover your own unique musical voice. For new students, we provide a complimentary introductory session that includes a skills assessment. This session gives you a chance to share your goals and interests and helps us point you to the most appropriate offerings. Each quarter we offer a wide variety of classes and workshops on improvisation, harmony, ear-training, and specialized topics. Our online classes feature lots of discussion and opportunity for questions and answers. There are no grades at Jazz Night School; rather, instructors give each student individual feedback on an ongoing basis. Everyone's effort is valued. When public health restrictions are relaxed, we will return to offering group ensemble opportunities that culminate in a short performance at a local nightclub. This is a fun-filled evening where friends and family come to applaud student efforts and cheer them on to new heights of musical expression!

We understand that most of our students have important life commitments such as work and family. There may be days that you have to deal with a sick child or a pressing work deadline and you aren't able to put in as much practice time as you would have liked. We get it. Our goal is to support your musical aspirations at whatever pace you are able to sustain at this time in your life.


Jazz Night School instructors are some of the finest musicians and educators in Seattle’s vibrant jazz community. Some have learned their art through old school traditions and others have studied at premier institutions such as Berklee College of Music, Eastman, Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, and University of Miami. 

    The following are Jazz Night School’s policies—please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions.

    Registration and Payments

    Ensemble registration is not solely on a first-come, first-serve basis. Roster requirements and student requests (1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices) factor into the assembly of each ensemble. Ensemble placements will be announced just prior to the beginning of the quarter. 

    In the event of a request for placement in a combo with another student, please note that placement together cannot be guaranteed. Our program director considers these requests carefully and endeavors to accommodate all parties.

    Payment of tuition and fees is due upon registration for Jazz Night School, and attendance requires payment in full by the first meeting of a session (unless special arrangements have been made). Payments can be made by cash, check, or credit card. Please note: Tuition not received in full by the first meeting of a session will incur an additional $100 charge.


    During Pre-Registration, offered one to three days prior to a Quarter’s opening of Registration, students currently enrolled can register to hold/continue their existing seat into the following Quarter. Note: There is no Pre-Registration period for entry into the Fall Quarter.


    Offerings may be cancelled if there are not enough students enrolled.

    Registration Fee

    Jazz Night School requires a $25 registration fee for all students at the start of each quarter. This fee goes towards registration processing.

    Late Payment Fees

    Unless special arrangements have been made, tuition not received in full by the end of the first week of a quarter will incur an additional $100 charge.

    Bounced Checks

    Bounced checks will incur a $50 fee.


    Classes and Ensembles—There will be no credits, refunds or make-ups for absence or withdrawal by student. Homework assignments may be provided upon request. Make-ups will be scheduled for any instructor absences.


    Refunds cannot be given once classes/ensembles have begun.

    Tuition Support

    Jazz Night School’s goal is to make opportunities available to everyone. Partial and full tuition waivers are available. Learn more at our Tuition Support page. 


    Jazz Night School Instructors and staff are here to help you. Ensemble students should expect that a majority of their rehearsal time is spent playing music, that individual feedback will be given every week, and that learning music aurally and/or orally (without printed music) will be encouraged whenever possible.

    Student Code of Conduct

    Jazz Night School strives to provide an empowering environment for everyone to develop their authentic musical voice. We emphasize positive collaboration through listening and appreciation of the contributions of fellow students. Be supportive, kind, respectful, and civil to fellow students and instructors. Respect each person’s unique set of challenges and gifts. Students who are unable to conduct themselves in this manner may be asked by instructor(s) or staff to leave or stop attending their Jazz Night School studies, may forfeit tuition, and may lose the privilege of future enrollment. Students are asked to come to class prepared but we prefer attendance even if students are not able to prepare. Each student will have the opportunity to advocate for their own musical development - ask questions, make suggestions, and share your concerns with your instructor or staff. If you have to miss a class or performance, no problem - but please email your instructor and/or fellow students to let them know. We ask that students do not offer critical feedback to their combo-mates. Positive reinforcement is encouraged, but all critical comments should come from the instructor and the instructor only.

    Facility Care

    • Eating is permitted at the lobby window counter. 
    • No food, drink, or gum in the rehearsal rooms.
    • Please leave all areas completely free of all trash and personal items.
    • No objects on the pianos and music stands should be kept away from pianos. 
    • Students are expected to assist with the upkeep of common areas, rehearsal rooms, and equipment by returning all items they use to their proper locations (for example but not limited to music stands, cymbals, mic stands, amplifiers). 
    • Instructors and students are welcome to use the Jazz Night School copy machine for Jazz Night School printing needs. 
    • Use the student door code to enter the building (provided to students at the beginning of each term). If you forget your code, please wait for another student to arrive—do not ask students in class to open the door for you, if classes are in progress.

    Property Damage

    In the unfortunate event that any Jazz Night School property is damaged due to misuse, intentional actions, or by accident, the following policy will be enforced:

    1. Responsibility for Damages: Any individual found responsible for damaging Jazz Night School property, whether through accidental or intentional means, will be held accountable for the repair or replacement costs.
    2. Reporting Damage: Anyone who witnesses or discovers damage to Jazz Night School property is required to report it immediately to a staff member.
    3. Assessment of Damages: Upon receiving a report of property damage, Jazz Night School staff will assess the extent of the damage and determine the repair or replacement costs.
    4. Payment for Repairs: The individual responsible for the damage will be notified of the assessment and required to reimburse Jazz Night School for the full cost of repairs or replacement within a specified timeframe.
    5. Failure to Pay: Failure to reimburse Jazz Night School for the damage within the designated timeframe may result in further consequences, including but not limited to removal and/or prohibition from Jazz Night School

    Room Booking

    Enrolled Jazz Night School students are welcome to use un-booked rehearsal room time for their personal practice. 

    1. Reservation Process:
      1. All room reservations must be made through the designated booking system or by contacting the Jazz Night School operations manager.
      2. Reservations should be made at least one day in advance to ensure availability.
    2. Booking Procedures:
      1. Bookings are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
      2. Individuals can book rooms for a maximum duration of two hours per session.
      3. Continuous bookings beyond two hours require prior approval from Jazz Night School administration.
    3. Room Usage Guidelines:
      1. Rooms must be used for music-related activities only, such as practice sessions or rehearsals.
      2. Rooms 2, 43, and 5 may not be used to generate income for the user (such as private instruction). 
      3. Food and beverages are strictly prohibited inside the practice rooms.
      4. Users are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and orderliness in the rooms. Any damages or excessive mess caused during the booking period will be the responsibility of the individual who made the booking.
    4. Noise Regulations:
      1. Users must adhere to noise regulations and be considerate of others in adjacent rooms.
      2. Amplified instruments or loud music may only be played in designated soundproofed rooms to minimize disturbance.
    5. Security and Access:
      1. Users must not share their access codes with unauthorized individuals.
      2. All individuals entering the practice rooms must have valid identification and proof of booking if requested by staff.
    6. Compliance and Enforcement:
      1. Failure to comply with these room booking policies may result in penalties, suspension of booking privileges, or other disciplinary actions deemed appropriate by Jazz Night School.
      2. Jazz Night School reserves the right to amend or update these policies as necessary, with prior notice to all stakeholders.

    By adhering to these room booking policies, we can ensure a harmonious and productive environment for all members of the Jazz Night School community.


    The end-of-session performances are a vitally important culminating experience. They are your opportunity to communicate with your authentic musical voice to a friendly and enthusiastic crowd. Be sure to enter the end-of-session performance date(s) in your calendar at the beginning of every session. The end-of-session performances are an opportunity to showcase all of your hard work during the session. For the performances, be sure to dress to impress and invite your friends & family. Jazz Night School staff will work hard to accommodate any performance time change requests, but may not always manage to rearrange the schedule, especially at the last minute.

    Recording, Performance, and Photography Release

    All performances presented by Jazz Night School (Jazz Night School) students/ensembles/performing groups and any persons performing or working with them (known collectively hereafter as “Students”) as part of Jazz Night School’s curricular or extra-curricular events may be audiotaped, filmed, videotaped or photographed. In addition, Jazz Night School may engage in commercial audio recording, film, video and photography projects featuring its Students.

    Jazz Night School reserves all rights to these audio recordings, films, videotapes or photographs (known collectively hereafter as “Recordings”), including the right to broadcast, license, assign, and distribute the Recordings and derivatives thereof in all media, for any purpose and without limitation.

    All Students assign to Jazz Night School all copyright and other rights in such performances and Recordings, including any rights to proceeds earned from commercial distribution or other use of the Recordings. In addition, Students’ names and likenesses in the published materials associated with these Recordings may be used by Jazz Night School and its agents. Jazz Night School is released from any claims arising out of broadcast, commercial distribution and promotion of these recordings. All rights in and to a composition will remain sole property of the composer(s). The Recordings may also be used to promote Jazz Night School and its programs.


    Jazz Night School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, use of service animals, national or ethnic origin, or any other trait or characteristic protected by law in admission of otherwise qualified students; in providing access to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Jazz Night School; or in its administration of educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid, and other school-administered programs.