top of page
Image by Biruk Masresha

Improv and Phrasing in Jazz

Top of page


Next date to be confirmed.


The Verdict Jazz Club

159 Edward Street





£130 (active participant)

£60 (in-person observer)

£30 (online observer)

How to register

Please check back.

This relaxed, informal day-long vocal workshop at the Verdict Jazz Club in Brighton features expert coaching and feedback from award-winning jazz singer Claire Martin OBE and voice teacher Stefan Holmström MFA, Estill Master Trainer.

We will explore improvisation and scat and how to shape your music organically with style. We will then apply what we've learned to a group improvisation and a selection of three songs from the standard repertoire or your own choice of jazz standard.


Twelve active participants will have the opportunity to perform their selected song on stage accompanied by David Newton, 16 times winner of the Best Pianist in the British Jazz Awards.

What you'll learn

  • How your voice works with an overview of the Estill Model, including vocal anatomy and physiology

  • How to prepare for singing with the Estill siren

  • How to cultivate a voice that is ready to respond to your musical imagination by conscious control of the true and false vocal folds, larynx height, tongue, lips and anchoring 

  • Timing and phrasing

  • An introduction to improvisation and scat including a 12-bar blues pattern

  • A dictionary of phonetics for jazz improvisation 


Saturday 28 January 2023

10:00 am to 5:00 pm GMT


Verdict Jazz Club, 159 Edward St, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 0JB

Who it's for

Jazz singers - beginner to intermediate level.

Observers (online)

Online observers watch Stefan and Claire's presentations from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. They can try all the group exercises as they follow from the comfort of their own home. There will be an opportunity to type questions for Stefan and Claire that will be answered during a short Q&A after each presentation. Please note that due to time constraints, it may not be possible to answer all questions.


Observers (in-person)

Ten in-person observers take part in the day-long workshop from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. They have the opportunity to participate in Stefan and Claire's presentations in the morning. In the afternoon, they watch and learn from the feedback that active participants receive during performance and one-to-one coaching.

Active participants

Like the observers, twelve active participants will also take part in the morning's themed vocal anatomy and physiology section. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to perform a song they have selected, either from the list below or one of their own choice, accompanied by David Newton. They will receive personal coaching and expert feedback with a focus on improvisation skills. The song choices are:

  • Stormy Monday Blues

  • I've Got Rhythm

  • How High the Moon

  • A jazz standard of your choice


£130 per person for active participants

£60 per person for in-person observers

£30 per person for online observers


About the trainers

Claire Martin OBE is a critically acclaimed Brighton-based jazz singer. She has won the British Jazz Awards 8 times and is a proud recipient of the BASCA Gold Badge Award for her contribution to songwriting. Claire has released 21 CDs and is currently working on her next album project, a collaboration with the American conductor and pianist Scott Dunn and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra celebrating the songs of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.


Stefan Holmström, MFA and Estill Master Trainer (EMT), is a professional opera singer and voice teacher. Following a career performing at Glyndebourne, Grange Park Opera, Opera Holland Park and as a member of the Phantom of the Opera Company at Her Majesty's Theatre in London, Stefan offers expert vocal training and workshops to a wide range of singers and speakers from his studio in central Brighton.

About the accompanist

David Newton is a Scottish jazz pianist, composer, arranger and educator. He is the UK’s most highly regarded and record breaking award winning jazz pianist – 16 times winner of the Best Pianist in the British Jazz Awards. David is also Principal Lecturer in jazz piano at Leeds College of Music.

About Estill Voice Training

Estill Voice Training (EVT) is a scientific, evidence-based system for vocal development. It is a life-changing approach that can help you become a stronger and more emotional performer by giving you effective tools to improve your craft. With EVT, simple everyday sounds are used to identify structures in the larynx and in the vocal tract (i.e. throat, mouth and nose). These are then trained in detail to give conscious, predictable and reliable control of your voice. 

About the venue

The Verdict is Brighton's only purpose jazz club. It has been named as one of the 10 top jazz clubs in Europe by The Guardian.

Register for Improvisaton and Phrasing in Jazz


Parking in Brighton is notorious, so be sure to have a plan in place before you set off for the workshop. You have a few options:


  • Paid parking (aka pay & display street parking) is available nearby, but it may be difficult to find a space on a Saturday morning. 

  • Public car parks are within easy walking distance of the venue.

  • Private car parks within walking distance include:

  • Park & Ride is available north of the city. If you want to avoid traffic and parking in the city centre, you can park for free at Withdean Sports Complex and buy a bus ticket into the city. The bus journey takes approximately 25-30 minutes. You can either:

    • hop on a 27 bus from Withdean Sports Complex bus stop to Sea Life Centre (Stop K) and walk 4 mins to The Verdict OR

    • walk approx 3 mins from Withdean Sports Complex to Tongdean Lane East bus stop in London Road and hop on a 5 or 5A bus. Alight at Old Steine and walk approx 5 mins to The Verdict.



Unfortunately this venue is not accessible to wheelchair users. Access to the basement workshop space is via one flight of stairs.  


Coffees, teas, pastries and snacks can be purchased from the venue's café. You can also order lunch from The Verdict. Alternatively, you can bring a packed lunch or pop out to one of the many shops or cafés nearby. 

How to register

Book online by clicking one of the links below:


Active participant (Sold out) >

Observer (in-person) >​

Observer (online) >



If you have any questions, please contact Stefan.

bottom of page