JMI Summer

Music School

Explore your musical potential
in the magic of Groznjan!

Welcome to the musical summer of your life.

Join us in the ancient Istrian village of Groznjan in Croatia, from the 16th to the  28th of July for our annual JMI Summer Music School, that brings together the very best professional musicians/teachers from around the world to share their knowledge and experience with you!

About the JMI Summer Music School

Our amazing team of nine mentors comes from all over the world. Participants are mentored according to their instrument and will also be placed in combos, forming mini groups to perform at a final concert on the 27th. 

Participants will work daily from 9.30am till noon, and then from 4 pm - 7 pm, with one day off reserved for leisure time spent on the beaches of the beautiful Croatian coast of Istria.

The Summer Music School is held together with the international jazz festival "JAZZ IS BACK BP", which received the Best European Small Festival Award in 2008 (European Jazz Award Committee). Participants will have the opportunity to hear some amazing professional musicians live every night (when they are not jamming!).

After their final concert at the festival, we will organize a celebration event where you will receive your diploma for participation.

The academy takes place during the rehearsal session of the JM Jazz World Orchestra, so participants will have the chance to meet and jam with 21 of the world's best young jazz musicians from 17 different countries.

So, all of you: singers, trumpeters, saxophonists, vibraphonists, pianists and all the others - if you love jazz and wish to spend 14 days playing it, see you in Grožnjan!

Meet your Mentors

Each mentor takes on a maximum of 10 students so make sure to reserve your place ASAP!


The US trombonist, composer and educator is an internationally recognised force in several musical worlds. He was mentored by the great Lester Bowie during his time as trombonist in Bowie’s Brass Fantasy. He has played as a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra under Arturo O’Farrill, the Mingus Big Band and in Dave Douglas’s Brass Ecstasy. As a sideman Bonilla has worked with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Astrud Gilberto, Willie Colon and Toshiko Akiyoshi. Luis has worked in music education at such institutions as Temple University, the Manhattan School of Music and the New England Conservatory and currently holds a position at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. Luis is the Artistic Director of the JM Jaz World Orchestra.

Trombone / Trumpet


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Lela Kaplowitz gives something artistic to the world. It makes people look at the ordinary things in a new way. She's performed and recorded with prominent musicians like Arturo Farrill and the Chico’ O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Doug Carn, Miles Griffith, Bill Saxton, Harry Whittaker, Dick Griffin, Craig Handy, Gary Fritz, Mark Rapp, Bob Alberti, Ben Tucker, 2 Cellos and many others.



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Bass guitar player, composer, and educator from Serbia, regarded as one of the most versatile bassists in the region of Ex-Yugoslavia (Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Macedonia and Slovenia). He has collaborated with internationally acclaimed artists including Luis Bonilla, Karlheinz Miklin, John Riley, Marko Djordjevic, Bojan Zulfikapashic, Thana Alexa, Felipe Salles, Mokhtar Samba, David Rhodes and Teodosi Spasov.




John has played with a wide spectrum of world-class musicians including Woody Herman Band, Stan Getz, Milt Jackson, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Scofield, Bob Mintzer, Gary Peacock, Mike Stern, Joe Lovano, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, John Patitucci, Bob Berg gained Riley's reputation as one of the most wanted drumers on scene and his educational heritage resulted with prestigious calls for teaching at universities like ManhattanSchool of Music, Ktztown University or Amsterdam Conservatory.



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Dick Oatts has recorded over 10 albums and has collaborated with Bob Brookmeyer, Joe Lovano, Lalo Schifrin, Mel Lewis, Red Rodney, Kenny Wheeler, Ttio Puente, Jerry Bergonzi, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra, WDR Big Band, Stockholm jazz Orchestra, Danish Radio Big Band. He is a professor at Boyer School of Music And Dance, Temple University and Amsterdam Conservatory.



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Elvis Stanić is the best Croatian contemporary jazz fusion guitarist, accordionist and the most awarded Croatian jazz composer. He is the leader of the «Elvis Stanić Group», a jazz fusion band which connects Mediteranean fluidness with piercing latin rhythm and contemporary jazz sound. The band performs original music, with a starting point in modern electric jazz, expanding it to the edge of traditional, latin or even the New Age music frontiers.




This american pianist, organist, tuba player, composer and arranger has worked with famous American blues and jazz musicians, including Eddie Daniels, James Moody, Greg Bandy, Randy Jonston, Wycliff Gordan, David "Fathead" Newman, Abraham Burton, Wess Andreson, Koko Taylor and Lucky Peterson. He moved to Croatia in 2006. Here he plays with famous Croatian musicians and spends a lot of time in studios. He is a permanent member of the Davor Križić Experiment, one of the Bruno Mičetić Guitar Trio, and a member of the classical Simply Brass Quintet, in which he plays the tuba. He has been a regular member of the Croatian Radio Television Jazz Orchestra since 2014, writing and arranging for the Orchestra.



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Alex Sipiagin has performed with the likes of Dave Holland, Michael Brecker, the Mingus groups, etc. Born in Russia, Alex began studying the trumpet at age 12, studying at the Moscow Music Institute and the Gnessin Conservatory in Moscow. Alex participated in the International Louis Armstrong Competition sponsored by the Thelonius Monk Institute in Washington D.C. winning top honors. As a soloist, Sipiagin has eleven recordings out to his credit and has toured extensively throughout Europe, U.S., Japan and Russia with his own group. He also teaches at the Groningen Prince Claus Conservatory, Academy of Music, Basel, Switzerland as well steady professorship at NYU.




Awarded double bass and el.bass player, composer, concert promoter worked with all established Croatian and Slovenian jazz musicians as well as with the internationally acclaimed artists like Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, Bruce Barth, Jim Mc Neely, Don Menza, Peter Herbholzheimer, Karlheinz Miklin etc. He was or is the member of Elvis Stanić Group, B's FUNstallation, Satellite, HGM Jazz Orchestra Zagreb, Matija Dedić Trio, Lasse Lindgren Big Constellation.



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He is a piano associate and organizer of the Music Workshop of Young People "Polyphony", with several singing ensembles - Osječki zumbići Children's Choir, Brevis Children's Choir and Vocal Ensemble "Brevis" with whom he has won a number of awards at the State and international competitions. In 2003, he received special recognition as the best piano accompanist in the singing choirs of the Croatian Youth Music Festival. He was a member of the Osijek jazz ensemble "Argus", Cubismo, HGM Jazz Orchestra Zagreb . As an external associate - the co-rapporteur collaborated with the Osijek National Opera and gained a large number of performances through collaboration with various Croatian orchestras and ensembles. Since 2004 she is an external associate, and since 2007 she has been assistant at the Art Academy of Osijek.




Alexa released her debut album Ode to Heroes in 2015 featuring saxophonist Donny McCaslin, drummer Antonio Sanchez and bassist Scott Colley.Her second album ONA is slated for release in early 2019 and blends jazz, world music, electronica, soul and pop amidst a humanistic exploration of the feminine and the power of women in contemporary society. Alexa is an active member of Antonio Sanchez' touring ensemble Migration and has recorded two critically acclaimed albums with the group.



Participant Packages
Standard Registration
(All instruments)

- 12 Day Masterclass
​(with a Mentor of your choosing)

- Complimentary Coaching

- Group training & performance

- Accommodation

- Pickup / Dropoff from Pula or Trieste

Price: €600
Standard Registration 
(Drummers) +
Croatian Drum Camp

- 12 Day Masterclass (with John Riley)

- 10 Day Drum Camp

- Complimentary Coaching

- Group training & performance

- Accommodation

- Pickup / Dropoff from Pula or Trieste

Price: €700
Practical Info