The “High Priestess of Soul” inspires our pioneering vocal ensemble. As Nina Simone was known to do, we bring together a broad range of styles, but are always steeped in gospel and folk traditions. New director Shaina Shepherd will take this soulful group on an exciting journey as they explore American roots music.

We sat with jaws dropped and a warm heart listening to the vocal ensemble. Thank you!
— JazzED Concert Attendee

Shaina Shepherd, bio below

This ensemble is open to boys and girls in grades 7-12. Prior singing experience is welcome but not necessary. If you’re interested, please register for placement below.

Saturday, Nov 16, 9am-11am (grades 7-12)
You will meet one-on-one with the ensemble director Shaina Shepherd. Students will evaluated on rhythm, tone and range, and asked to harmonize and hold melody.  You may bring a prepared piece to sing but it is not required. Placement slots are first come, first served in your time frame. If you cannot make it to the placement day, please contact

Weekly on Mondays from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
January 6, 2020 - May 11, 2020


  • Royal Room Show: Sunday March 1, 2020
    4:00pm-6:00pm | Doors at 3:30pm
    Call Time/Soundcheck: 3:30pm

  • Final Concert ‘JazzED Jamboree’: Sunday, May 17, 2020
    Venue: TBD
    Call Time/Soundcheck: TBD
    Performance: TBD

Click here for the JazzED Program Calendar >

Ensembles rehearse at the MLK FAME Community Center at 3201 E Republican St in the Madison Valley neighborhood. Click here for a map.

We are committed to this program being financially accessible for ALL families. You select the tuition amount that works for you. Please note, monthly amounts below apply to December 2018-April 2019 time frame.

Your tuition payment helps cover the cost of renting class space and paying our educators a fair wage, as well as classroom supplies, sheet music, etc.

  • $1,175, $235/month, do not enter any code

  • $925, $185/month, enter code NINETWENTYFIVE

  • $675, $135/month, enter code SIXSEVENTYFIVE

  • $425, $85/month, enter code FOURTWENTYFIVE

  • $250, $50/month, enter code TWOFIFTY

You will have the option of entering a sliding scale tuition code on the registration check-out page. Be sure to select the payment plan option if you want to break your payments up. Please note you will also have the option of paying your chosen amount in full if you prefer  

If you'd like to pay a different sliding scale amount than the options here, fill out our easy online form, and we'll send you a custom tuition code. 

Have questions about how this works? Contact us and we'll get right back to you!

You can also read our cancellation policy (recommended).

Nina Simone Vocal Ensemble Director


Shaina Shepherd

Inspired by the parallels between gospel and garbage metal, Shaina Shepherd is not your average vocalist. Living in the city where both Soundgarden and Quincy Jones cut their teeth, Shaina lends her soulful voice to projects of all genres.

Nina Simone Vocal Ensemble Accompanist


Sherrill Mitchell

Sherrill Mitchell, a native of Louisiana, developed a love for music at an early age following the lead of his parents. Unaware of God's calling and anointing on his life, he gravitated towards percussion and drumming initially, but eventually took an interest in the piano and learned to play by ear. Since the early years, Sherrill has grown musically through an array of studies as well as some great mentors along the way, including Vivian Perryman, Minister Darryl Hawk, Minister Phil Curry, Minister Grady Austin and Pastor Cora Jackson. Currently he shares his gifts with several ministries around the Greater Seattle area.