Welcome to my site.

Thanks for coming to my website.  There is lots of information about my concerts, gigs, teaching activities, online jazz piano course, blog posts and music below.  I’d love to see you at some of my gigs, concerts or lectures.  Please leave your email if you want to be notified of upcoming events.  Also, I always appreciate your questions, comments and suggestions.

Here’s a nice comment from one of my Australian JazzSkills for Piano subscribers:

“Hi Martan ! Thank you for your course and video lessons. They have been extremely useful to me. I now use your approach when playing.  At the moment I’m playing each week in the State Library centre in Adelaide (South Australia) and it is certainly giving me new musical freedom.”

Have a great day . . .

Martan :)

JazzThought of the Day:

“The Secret Of Creative Playing Is Not What You Are Playing, It’s What You Are Hearing”
Martan Mann
Musical Note
Music jazz improvisation

For More Jazz Thought Quotes by Martan, visit JazzThought.com.

October Public Happenings

Martan Mann

(Most of these gigs are in the
San Francisco & Monterey Bay Area)

There are lots of public gigs as we move into Fall.   Besides playing solo piano every Saturday at the elegant Cetrella in Half Moon Bay;  playing solo at Merrill Gardens; w/Robin Anderson Big Band w/Ruby Rudman at The Pocket;  playing with swinging saxophonist, Terrel Eaton at the Kuumbwa (private party);  playing with jazz drummer, Michael Medwig at the 2016 Chocolate Festival; playing with super-crooner, Michael Carter at the Byington Winery;  I’m performing at the elegant 88 Keys Cafe and Piano Bar;  playing solo at at Westhope Presbyterian (every Sunday) in Saratoga.

Come here often to check out newly added gigs.  (See the listings below for more information.)


Welcome to JazzSkills Academy of Music.


I’ve decided to place all my teaching efforts under the new JazzSkills Academy of Music.  This includes my online courses:  JazzSkills for Piano and JAZZ MASTERCLASS: Step-by-Step, my upcoming webinars, Skype lessons, books, private teaching and clinics.


Check out three of my websites:
My new site is JazzThought.com.  This is a great discussion blog where you can ask me questions on jazz, music and improv.

This site grew out of over 80 JazzThoughts that I have placed on Twitter and Facebook and many questions that friends and students have asked me over the years.. You can also view the  JazzThoughts there and ask questions about them.
I hope you will visit this site often and participate with your comments.  I’m looking forward to conversing with you.

You are currently on my newly revamped Musicmann Website (It has lots of information about all my activities, products, JazzSkills for Piano and blog posts) and JazzSkills for Piano (my extensive online jazz piano course).   You can request to receive Four Free Videos . . . or to receive my email updates.

Check out my Resources Page on this website.  I present links of some of my favorite people, companies and products.  You can order the products right from my website page.


These are my latest standalone lessons from JAZZ MASTERCLASS: Step-by-Step.  (See below for more information)

Current Standalone Step-by-Step Lessons:

  1. “Learning Giant Steps for the Jazz Pianist”
  2. “Modal Improv for the Jazz Pianist”
  3. “Learning Stride Blues for the Jazz Pianist”
  4. “Pachelbel Improv”
  5. “Learning Boogie Woogie”.
  6. The Preparing Series
    1.  “Preparing to Play in All Keys”
    2.  “Preparing to Learn a Tune”

You can also now find some of my Jazz Masterclass: Step-by-Step lessons on the interesting websites:

Private Teaching

Also, to mention: my private teaching schedule is going ahead full-force at home in Boulder Creek, at West Valley Music and Hope Street Music Studios in Mt. View! Contact me for a free interview.  My personal students (who take at least two lessons a month) will receive free access to JazzSkills for Piano.

Hope Street Music Studios is at a spanking new location in Mt. View at 2224 Old Middlefield Way, Suite E.  I teach there on Tuesdays.
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 961-2192.

West Valley Music Store
262 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
(650) 961-1566

I’m also teaching lessons by Skype.  If you are interested, click here.


I want to personally invite you to join me and my friends at the following public concerts and gigs . . . love to see you there.  These gigs are mainly in the San Francisco, Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Area.
Best to you . . . Martan :)


FB Gig Banner - Cetrella Solo

Every Saturday, 6:30 – 9:30 pm

This is my super-favorite gig.  I love playing every Saturday on the grand piano in the elegant Cetrella’s Half Moon Bay Restaurant.  This restaurant is definitely worth the drive to Half Moon Bay.  The food and ambiance are unsurpassed.  You will love it. (Not playing on October 8)
Cetrella’s, 845 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA


Terrel Eaton

Saturday, October 7,  1-4 pm
Playing with the Terrel Eaton Combo at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Private Gig).

Michael Medwig

Friday, October 14, 7:30 – 10:30 pm/Saturday, October 15, 1 – 4 pm
Playing at the 2016 Chocolate Festival with jazz drummer, Michael Medwig and his combo.  This should be a fun (and tasty) gig . . . looking forward to it.
Belmont Congregational 751 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont, CA

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 8.28.46 AMSunday, October 16, 2 – 4 pm
It’s wine, food and jazz time with super-crooner, Michael Carter and me at the elegant Byington Winery.  This is the best way to enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon (Yum!).  Join us.
Byington Winery, Bear Creek Road (off Hwy. 17), Santa Cruz, CA

Merrill Gardens Campbell

Friday, October 21, 3:30 pm
I absolutely love playing solo piano for the fine residents of Merrill Gardens (Campbell).  We always have a great time playing the standard tunes.
Merrill Gardens, Winchester, Campbell


Friday, November 4, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
This is my first opportunity to perform at the elegant 88 Keys Cafe and Piano Bar in Morgan Hill.  This place is fab and a great place to hear piano.  I hope you will join me.
88 Keys Cafe, 1295 E. Dunne Ave. #100, Morgan Hill


Monday, November 7, 7:30 – 10:30 pm
Now, this is a swinging band with great players and super charts.  It’s the Robin Anderson Big Band w/Ruby Rudman.  We’re playing at the Pocket . . . . and blowing the roof off the place.  This is it . . . if you love big band (and I do).
The Pocket, Santa Cruz, CA

Westhope 2015-11-01 at 10.45.43 PMEvery Sunday – 10 am Service
I play every Sunday for the beautiful Westhope Presbyterian Church in Saratoga.
Westhope Presbyterian Church, 12850 Saratoga Avenue, Saratoga,
(408) 255-0955.

Steady Gigs

Every Saturday 6:30 – 9:30 pm
This is one of my favorite gigs because a have the opportunity to play my heart out on a beautiful grand piano in a very elegant and modern restaurant.  Join me in the lounge at Cetrella Restaurant.  The food is great.  You will love it.
Cetrella Restaurant, 845 Main Street, Half Moon Bay

Sundays at 10 am
I am playing for the Sunday Morning Service at the Westhope Presbyterian Church.
Westhope Presbyterian Church, 12850 Saratoga Avenue, Saratoga

JazzSkills for Piano

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JazzSkills for Piano is now here!!!

Check it out.  Receive Four Free Videos.

Here’s some exciting new news regarding my new online jazz piano improv course, “JazzSkills for Piano (Getting from Here to There).   This is an intensive, deep, serious course in developing the skills necessary to play jazz piano.  It’s the subconscious which does the playing . . . you have the FUN.  This is your time to get started!

JazzSkills for Piano:

  • Over 200 lesson videos
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • The Private Lesson Blog
  • JAZZ MASTERCLASS: Step-by-Step (stand alone lessons)
  • Skype
  • Webinars
  • Lots of text and much more.

Log on to receive Four Free Videos.



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Martan Mann has created single stand-alone intensive lessons for the jazz pianist.  These lessons are available for separate sale for $14.95 (to view for three months) . . . and are also included with a Premium Subscription to JazzSkills for Piano.

These are my latest standalone lessons from JAZZ MASTERCLASS: Step-by-Step.

Just Released:

  1. “Learning Giant Steps for the Jazz Pianist”
  2. “Modal Improv for the Jazz Pianist”
  3. “Learning Stride Blues for the Jazz Pianist”
  4. “Pachelbel Improv”
  5. “Learning Boogie Woogie”
  6. “Preparing to Play in All Keys”
  7. “Preparing to Learn a Tune”

This series of lessons give step-by-step instruction in analyzing and developing specific tunes and styles.  This solves mysteries.  This gives answers Now!  You can choose your tune and/or style to develop it fully and creatively.  New Step-by-Step Lessons will be added often.  Visit his website:  Musicmann.com to join his mailing list to stay current on the release of new lessons.

These lessons are fairly advanced and assume that you already have basic skills as a jazz pianist.  If you need to work on your jazz skills . . . consider enrolling in Martan’s intensive online jazz piano course JazzSkills for Piano.  This course will definitely take you “From Here to There”.  Visit JazzSkills for Piano to receive Four Free Videos.


Learning GS for the JP1200

The first lesson is an in-depth analysis and step-by-step method to learn to play the iconic tune, Giant Steps by John Coltrane.

Giant Steps by John Coltrane has always been considered as a difficult tune for jazz pianists to understand, learn and play. Of course, adding to the complexity is that the tune is usually played very fast. I think, what we really need is a simple, step-by-step approach to studying this tune . . . then developing the tune into our subconscious. Once this tune is totally subconscious, we should be able to freely improvise on it.

This lesson on Learning Giant Steps contains four videos, downloadable PDFs, graphics of examples, and text. Video #4 contains backup tracks for your practice.  You can practice soloing over Giant Steps in different styles and tempos.  Have fun learning Giant Steps.

Learning Giant Steps for the Jazz Pianist contains:

  • Four Instructional Videos:  Martan takes you from Analysis . . . to Soloing.
  • Downloadable PDFs:  There are downloadable PDFs for all study examples.
  • Text:  You can augment the videos by reading text.
  • Play-along Audio Tracks:  You can practice playing Giant Steps at various tempos in different styles.
  • View Examples:   You can view the examples in the lesson.
  • Skype Lessons:  You also have the option to have a personal lesson with Martan.

CLICK HERE to learn more about “Learning Giant Steps for the Jazz Pianist”.

Check this out!Modal Improv for the JP200Modal playing is a very distinctive style for a jazz pianist.  It “opens up” your playing, using the entire range of the piano.  It increase your harmonic knowledge.  This step-by-step lesson gives specific analysis, instruction and exercises to develop modal playing into your personal style.  This is a very intensive lesson with eight videos, downloadable PDFs, text, playalong audio and reference to modal tunes.

  • Eight Instructional Videos:  Martan takes you from Analysis . . . to Soloing.
  • Downloadable PDFs:  There are downloadable PDFs for all study examples.
  • Text:  You can augment the videos by reading text.
  • Play-along Audio Tracks:  You can practice playing Modal Improv at various tempos in different styles.
  • View Examples:   You can view the examples in the lesson.
  • Skype Lessons:  You also have the option to have a personal lesson with Martan.

CLICK HERE to learn more about “Modal Improvisation for the Jazz Pianist”.

Skype Piano Lessons with Martan Mann

Martan Mann is now offering special individual Skype lessons based on his new internet jazz piano course, JazzSkills for Piano. The Skype sessions are paid through PayPal and are $24.95 for a 30 minute lesson. The lessons should relate to specific lessons in JazzSkills for Piano. You should have a Skype account and a webcam. Premium Subscribers to JazzSkills for Piano have access to Skype session discounts. Click Here for more information.

Recording and Rehearsals for Vocalists

I want to remind vocalists that I can provide rehearsal and recording services. I have a beautiful Yamaha C7 and excellent recording equipment. It’s quick and easy to record a demo or complete CD. CD artwork is also available.

I can also create Band in a Box charts and recordings which sound like a real band. You’ll be amazed!!!  TURN OFF THE MUSIC AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.

The above is an audio file, “You’d be so nice to come home to”. It has my live piano playing mixed with the BIAB file. The first and third chorus is a backup for the vocalist. The second chorus is a sax solo. BIAB can put the song into any key, style, soloing instrument, tempo, etc.

Call me at (831) 338-4986 for more information. Or, send an email to martan@musicmann.com.

“I love to back vocalists!”


What is this thing called love?

This is from a live concert at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center with Michael Strunk, drums, Dan Robbins, bass and me on piano.  (TURN OFF THE MUSIC AT THE TOP OF THIS SITE.)



(Also visit:  JazzThought.com for more blog posts and jazz quotes.)

Developing Jazz Skills

This is a blog post article by Martan Mann

There a many books which teach the theory of jazz.  Learning the theory of jazz is important.  However – what many pianists truly need is a method to expand their various jazz skills using that theory.  To put this simply, competent jazz pianists play automatically.  They “flip the switch” and the music flows out of them.  The main issue is . . . how did they get to that skill level?  Also, is there a more direct way to arrive at that point?

We know that classical players spend years honing their skills.  They work on piano technique, pianistic skills, interpretive knowledge.  This is done by studying with competent teachers who teach them the skills of playing the piano and guide them through piece after piece. Through years of learning and memorizing classical pieces, the classical pianist eventually develops musical skills, good tone, a fluid piano technique, good timing and rhythm, phrasing, interpretation, and music-reading skills.

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