Eli Yamin makes teaching and learning jazz as joyful and creative as playing it.   Eli co-founded The Jazz Drama Program to inspire students, teachers and their communities by exposing and involving them in the jazz arts—music, storytelling, dance, theatre, and visual arts.  Through master classes, professional development, interactive performances and creating original jazz musicals for students to perform for their peers, communities in the U.S. and abroad experience first hand the tremendous possibilities offered by America’s home grown, multi-faceted art form.

Eli co-designed and serves as head of instruction for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy and leads a wide range of experiential workshops where participants mine their own creativity and expand their capacity to make meaningful connections with the culture, history and creative practices of jazz, blues and each other.  U.S. venues include the New Orleans Museum of Art in New Orleans, The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho, Mississippi Arts Commission’s Whole School Initiative in Mississippi, Arts Are Basic in Lincoln, Nebraska, Jazz A-Z at The Mesa Arts Center in Arizona, National Dance Institute in Harlem, Capital Jazz at The Washington Performing Arts Society in Washington D.C., as well as teaching and performing at first ever White House Jazz Studio hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.   For six years, Eli created specialized workshops for musicians touring internationally with The Rhythm Road:  American Music Abroad:  a program for cultural diplomacy produced by the United States Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center.  Eli also toured the world with this program as a performing artist and master teacher in South America, Russia, the Balkans, West Africa, India and China.  For executives, Eli co-designed and leads two popular workshops in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center and Fordham Graduate School of Business and it’s partner programs around the world, Jazz and Autonomous, Flexible Team Management and Jazz and Entrepreneurship.

Eli offers:

  • Masterclasses
  • Professional Development
  • Teacher Training
  • Customized Workshops
  • Education and performance program consultancies


From 1991-2005, Eli worked as a freelance teaching artist in New York City in over 100 schools partnering with classroom teachers to bring expansive experiences to students pre-Kindergarten through graduate school.  He trained in the Maxine Green inspired Aesthetic Education Practice of Lincoln Center for the Arts in Education (LCI) and was a member of the Focus School and Higher Education Collaborative.  At the same time, he got his Masters in teaching music at Lehman College, City University of New York, and designed and performed hundreds of in-school concerts including The Magic and Mechanics of Jazz for Young Audiences New York, The Different Moods of the Blues for Lincoln Center Institute, and Jazz Means Freedom for Jazz at Lincoln Center.   Eli was commissioned by WBGO Radio to create and perform Jazz Play/Play Jazz, an interactive jazz and theatre performance that toured Newark schools.

Eli has his Bachelor’s in music from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and his Master’s in teaching music from Lehman College, City University of New York.  Eli studied jazz with Barry Harris, Kenny Barron, Jaki Byard, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Keith Copeland, Amiri Baraka and Phil Schaap.  Classical piano with Eleanor Hancock and John Kamitsuka.  Composition and orchestration with John Corigliano. He continues vocal studies with Jeannette LoVetri of the The Voice Workshop and is a certified Somatic Voicework Teacher.