Samba Meets Jazz Workshops has been organizing international workshops for over five years.   Spring 2017 marked our inaugural program in Europe — in Ferrara, Italy!   

Photo and video clip gallery to be posted soon!

In the meantime, you might want to browse below to learn about the program.  

We look forward to sharing our international programs for 2018 soon!


FERRARA, ITALY  (April 16 – 21, 2017) 

Under the direction of virtuoso bassist 2017 Grammy nominee NILSON MATTA, our 5-day immersion in Ferrara, Italy, was geared to instrumentalists and vocalists of all levels and music backgrounds from ITALY, BELGIUM, NORWAY, AUSTRIA, TURKEY and the UNITED STATES.

Through playing, singing and jamming with other participants explored new repertoire, participated in ensembles, learned new approaches to improvisation, and simply, had FUN!  









The week will commence on Sunday evening with a Welcome Orientation followed by an optional group dinner in Ferrara.

Our Monday – Friday instructional schedule will typically be 10:00am – 4:00pm — giving us ample time to visit museums, cultural sites (typically close at 7:00pm), rest up, and take in the exquisite gastronomy of Ferrara.   Ferrara is a city that blends Medieval with Renaissance – and a place loved for the tranquility of its historic center, its pedestrian-friendly streets, bike and walking paths on its iconic surrounding ancient wall, and its many green ares.

On Wednesday our schedule will be adjusted to enable a late afternoon/evening outing to Bologna (30 minutes by train), where Nilson and Chico will be performing at a local jazz venue.   On other evenings, we’ll jam, have optional group dinners, as well as “on your own” evenings. 

The week concludes with the student-faculty performance at Jazz Club Ferrara —  recognized by Downbeat as one of the best jazz clubs in Europe, featuring iconic musicians such as Randy Brecker, Harold Maebern, not to mention SMJ Artistic/Music Director Nilson Matta.


Ferrara boasts the famed Jazz Club Ferrara, which will host our classes and culminating student/faculty performance on Friday night.  Designated by Downbeat Magazine as one of the world’s best small jazz clubs, it is considered on of Europe’s best — featuring luminaries from Harold Mabern to Randy Brecker, not to mention of course SMJ Artistic/Music Director Nilson Matta.  


The following list provides 3- 4- and 5-star options, all of which are in the historic center, where Jazz Club Ferrara is also located. If you’re looking for hassle-free travel arrangements, SMJ can manage travel arrangements for and additional fee.

  • 3-Star: Hotel Touring:                                                                   Hotel Europa:
  • 4-Star: Hotel Annunziatta (an Accor hotel):
  • 5-Star:  Hotel Duchessa Isabella



Standard Rate:   $US 1695   Student Rate:  $US 915   

Contact us for Special Grant-funded Rates for International Students.   €615  – €1015   

** includes tuition, 5-day instructional program.  Program fee does not include lodging, airfare, ground transportation, meals, gratuities, t-shirt or costs of group excursions or meals. 

Scholarships:  A limited number of partial scholarships are available, based on financial need and merit. 



Based on interest, pre- and/or post-workshop trip extensions can be available, as well as arrangements for group excursions (e.g., winery, culinary class). Cost(s) for the above based on group size, and on a per person basis.