Bob Karty


I’ve been on the faculty of The California Jazz Conservatory (formerly The Jazzschool) in Berkeley, CA since 2002. I’m currently teaching Jazz Piano levels 1 and 2.

For more information, visit California Jazz Conservatory web site.

In the past I’ve also taught Salsa Piano, Introduction to Music Theory, Salsa Ensemble, Latin Jazz ensemble, and Piano Comping classes at the Jazzschool.


I’ve offered these at The California Jazz Conservatory, Berkeley CA, as two-hour weekend workshops. The Danzón and Cuban piano workshops can be adapted to emphasize more technical aspects of performance for audiences comprised solely of musicians.

Music Transcription Techniques

Transcribing music from recordings is an essential practice with many benefits for aspiring musicians. In this workshop, students are introduced to traditional transcription techniques and also to notation and playback computer programs which help streamline the process. I demonstrate techniques using Sibelius notation software and Transcribe!, an application which allows you to loop and adjust the speed and EQ of recordings for transcription purposes. Open to all. There are no prerequisites, but participants will benefit most if they have basic computer skills, some proficiency on a musical instrument and/or voice, and a knowledge of basic music theory.

Anatomy of the Cuban Danzón

The danzón is one of the most important and influential styles of Cuban popular music and dance, an elegant blend of Afro-Caribbean, European, and North American musical elements. It’s also the earliest recorded form of African-American music. This workshop, open to both musicians and non-musicians, presents an overview of the evolution and structure of the danzón, with listening examples from the earliest wax-cylinder recordings to contemporary jazz-infused arrangements. The workshop also examines the roles of the instruments in the modern charanga orchestra, the unique improvisation language of the piano and flute, and the influence of jazz on the form.

Salsa/Afro-Cuban/Latin Jazz Piano — A Listening Survey

Through classic recordings of both major and lesser-known pianists, this workshop provides a detailed overview of the evolution of Cuban piano styles and the role of the piano in both dance music and concert music from the 1930s to the present. Open to anyone interested in exploring this rich piano tradition.