The New Jersey Jazz Academy

New for fall 2021: New Jersey Jazz Academy University Experience!

Students will rehearse and perform with music majors from Kean University in addition to professional, working musicians under the direction of Grammy-nominated educator Vinnie Turturiello.

In Elefante’s prestigious New Jersey Jazz Academy, students are fully immersed in a jazz-centered experience with these focal points:

  • Read jazz rhythmic figures
  • Learn how to improvise
  • Learn jazz history
  • Learn from and play with a variety of professional musicians and educators
  • Gain more competitive skills and techniques to bring to their school, regional, state and national band auditions and performances.

The class will culminate in a performance at Kean University on December 8.

This program will be held indoors. In keeping with the recommendations regarding the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, all students and teachers must wear masks for group classes. For woodwind and brass instruments, bell covers must be used. Students and teachers may pull down their face masks to play woodwind and brass instruments, but masks should immediately be pulled back over noses and mouths when not playing.

DATES: Thursdays October 7 – December 2 (8 classes; no class November 25)
TIME: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
REQUIREMENTS: Middle and high school students with at least 2 years experience
PRICE: $350
LOCATION: Elefante Music – 1790 Springfield Ave, New Providence NJ
DRESS REHEARSAL: December 2 – Kean University 7:00-8:30pm
PERFORMANCE: December 8 – Kean University (Time TBA)

MEET THE INSTRUCTORS

Vinnie Turturiello is a Grammy-nominated music educator. His Scotch Plains-Fanwood jazz band, The Moonglowers, has taken top honors in the NJ Association for Jazz Education’s Division II competition in 2014, 2015, and 2016. He is an adjunct professor at Kean University and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Al Elefante, founder of Elefante Music, studied at Kings College and the Manhattan School of Music. He studied clarinet with Charles Passhaus, Charles Russo, and Leon Russianoff.

He is a fixture of the local jazz community and performs regularly with his band Elefante & Green.

He opened Elefante Music in 1996 where he continues to teach private lessons in New Providence. 

Joe Mosello is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he studied and performed with Chuck Mangione. Joe toured and recorded as lead trumpet with the Jazz Ambassadors of the U.S. Army Field Band in Washington, D.C.

Joe was selected to perform, record, and tour with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra. He is a veteran of dozens of Broadway shows, and is an 11-year member of the Tony Awards Orchestra. He played lead trumpet with big bands in New York City, including 25 years with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. Joe performed with Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Julie Andrews, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Mathis, Jerry Lewis, The Temptations, The Four Tops, and Blood Sweat and Tears, among others, and has two gold records, for Maynard Ferguson’s recording of “Gonna Fly Now” from Rocky, and for “Solid” by Ashford and Simpson. Joe was lead trumpet and music coordinator for Aretha Franklin when she performed in the New York City area.

Joe is a professor in the jazz department at Rutgers University. He also teaches trumpet students, and is a consultant with many high school jazz ensembles and serves as a Jupiter trumpet performing artist.

Summer 2020 Virtual Project:
Jump, Jive, & Wail

Fall 2020 Virtual Project:
Flip, Flop, & Fly

More Jazz Academy Videos

Kean University Performance

Promo Video


A unique experience for jazz students, the New Jersey Jazz Academy at Elefante Music is a prestigious program for students who aim to be top players in their school jazz ensembles. The Academy is open to students who play alto, tenor, or baritone saxophone; trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, drumset/percussion, flute, vibraphone and xylophone. Vocalists are also welcome.

The New Jersey Jazz Academy is led by Program Director Vinnie Turturiello, a Grammy-nominated music educator. His Scotch Plains-Fanwood jazz band, The Moonglowers, has taken top honors in the NJ Assocation for Jazz Education’s Division II competition in 2014, 2015, and 2016. He is an adjunct professor at Kean University and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.