Eli Yamin makes teaching and learning jazz as joyful and creative as playing it. He co-founded the Jazz Power Initiative in 2003, to ignite the power of jazz arts education and transform lives by fostering self-expression, leadership, collaboration, and diversity. Jazz Power Initiative (JPI), a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) organization, currently serves over 3100 New Yorkers and visitors annually – students, teachers, artists, seniors, and general audiences, ages 8-80+, to promote youth development, and build more creative and inclusive communities through jazz music, theater and dance education and performance.

Eli Yamin is the author of So You Want To Sing The Blues: A Guide For Professionals published in 2018 by Rowman and Littlefield in collaboration with the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). In this book, Eli combines his experience playing the blues with blues and jazz masters like Walter Perkins and Illinois Jacquet with over ten years of research and practice in modern voice pedagogy to provide a resource for teachers and performers.

Mr. Yamin was also the founding director of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy, leading its first decade, starting with 13 students in Manhattan and expanding the program to serve over 75 students in three boroughs; in addition, his instructional videos for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s online Jazz Academy have received more than two million views. He has led 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 senior teacher in South America, Russia, the Balkans, West Africa, India, and China. For executives, Eli co-designed and leads Syncopated Leadership in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center and Fordham Graduate School of Business and it’s partner programs around the world.

Eli offers:

  • Studio Classes
  • 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 a Bachelor’s in music from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, a Master’s in teaching music from Lehman College, City University of New York and a Doctorate in Musical Arts (DMA) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  Eli studied jazz with Barry Harris, Kenny Barron, Jaki Byard, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Keith Copeland, Amiri Baraka, Ray Anderson, and Phil Schaap.  Classical piano with Eleanor Hancock and John Kamitsuka.  Composition and orchestration with John Corigliano. Voice with Darrell Lauer and Jeannette LoVetri of The Voice Workshop.  Eli is a certified Level III Somatic Voicework Teacher.