skip to Main Content

JazzArts Nuestro Tiempo Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble

NEW!  Learn to play the fundamentals of Latin Jazz.

[clic aqui para ver informacion en Espanol.]

SPRING 2023:
Tuesdays, January 31 – May 2 2023
Performance date TBD.

LOCATION:  VAPA Center, 700 North Tryon Street, Charlotte

JazzArts Charlotte extends its successful JazzArts Academy programs with a NEW instrumental offering for youth.

Led by renowned Latin Jazz educators, students will play repertoire in a Latin Jazz orchestra and learn fundamentals including clave rhythms, improvisational theory, Latin Jazz history and stage presence.  This is a unique opportunity for student musicians grades 7-12 to study an exciting facet of jazz that combines the chords and improvisational techniques of traditional jazz with the Latin instruments and rhythms.

Woodwinds, Brass, Rhythm Section, and Percussion Players are encouraged to join.

With space limited, registration and audition are both required. 


Julio Jeri

Julio Jeri is a trumpet artist originally from Peru. He has served as director, conductor, or musician for the Charlotte Jazz Orchestra, Children’s Theater of Charlotte, Central Brass Band, Orquesta K’che, and many more. Julio holds a bachelor’s degree from Wingate University, a master’s from UNC School of the Arts, and is currently pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts in trumpet performance at UNC Greensboro. He teaches privately at University of North Carolina School of the Arts Community Music School and has taught at numerous middle and high schools across North Carolina. It is his passion to share the gift of music, collaboration, and perseverance and to mentor students.

Johnny Conga

Johnny Conga has been performing for 55 years, as a world renowned “multi-percussionist-specialist”, in the Art of Afro-Cuban/Caribbean drumming and music. As a performer, he has been in 150 bands, done 17 international tours, and worked with over 100 major artists including Paquito D’Riviera, the Jackson Five, Willie Bobo, and Gloria Ganyor. As educator, Johnny is an ethnomusicologist, teaching a Latin jazz style percussion and drum curriculum for over 35 years.  Johnny started playing the congas professionally at age 16 in New York, has traveled and performed all over the world, and now calls North Carolina his home for the past several years.


Middle and high school student musicians with at least one year on their instruments are encouraged to participate.  Please register to an audition at VAPA Center.  Audition date is January 24th. After registration closes, the audition date and times will be set.

Tuition & Fees

We are able to offer accepted student scholarships that cover the cost of participation, making this program free for all students.

This program is made possible through special grants from Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina and Arts & Science Council.

Got a question?

If you have any further questions, please call us at (704) 334-3900 or contact our Director of Education, Patrick Brown, at

Thanks to our friends sharing the news with their communities.

Take a look at some of these interviews and performances from Fall 2022 for a bit more description from JazzArts Charlotte CEO Lonnie Davis and instructors Julio Jeri and Johnny Conga.

Queen City News
Charlotte Weekly
The Biscuit, Charlotte is Creative
Charlotte Post
WFAE Tapestry
Q City Metro

Arts & Science Council

Julio Jeri, Instructor

Johnny Conga, Instructor

Don't Miss a Beat!

Sign up to receive news on shows, educational programs, and more.