Welcome to my site.

Thanks for coming to my website.  There is lots of information about my concerts, gigs, teaching activities, JazzSkills for Piano 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.

December Public Happenings

Martan Mann

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

The express train is rolling right into the Holiday Season.  Happy Holidays, everyone (chose your Holiday)!  This year is especially busy with lots of gigs and piano students.  (Incidentally . . . I’d love to play for your holiday parties).

Besides playing solo piano every Saturday at the elegant Cetrella in Half Moon Bay;  playing solo at Merrill Gardens;   I’m performing at the stately Circus Club in Atherton;  w/Robin Anderson Big Band w/Ruby Rudman at The Pocket;  at the elegant San Jose Country Club;  w/Gail Dobson at the Pink House Cafe in Saratoga; playing solo and special Christmas Services at at Westhope Presbyterian (every Sunday) in Saratoga.

And . . . saving the best for last . . . playing a great New Years Eve Gig at Cetrella in Half Moon Bay with super jazz vocalist Deborah Winters, and bassist Doug Poharsky, drummer Jim Kassis and me.  Make your reservations early for this happening event!

We have updated and revamped the JazzSkills for Piano website. Check it out.  We are now offering a brand new introductory offer.

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:

Check out the newly redesigned JazzSkills for Pianomy extensive online jazz piano course.

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 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, San Jose & Monterey Bay Area.

Best to you . . . Martan :)


FB Gig Banner - Cetrella Solo

Every Saturday, 6:30 – 9:30 pm and NEW YEARS EVE!!!

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.

Also . . . Cetrella’s in Half Moon Bay is THE place to be on New Year’s Eve from 8:30 pm – 12:30 am.  I’m playing with an all-star band including super jazz vocalist, Deborah Winters and Doug Pahorhsky on Bass, Jim Kassis on drums and me.  Make your reservations early.
Cetrella’s, 845 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA


Friday, December 2 – 12 pm – 2 pm
I’m honored to play at the prestigious Menlo Circus Club for their holiday lunch.  I’ll be playing lots of holiday tunes.  (Club members only).
Menlo Circus Club, Atherton


Sunday, December 4 – 6 pm
I’m really looking forward to playing with my sister, Gail Dobson and her fine band at the Cafe Pink House.  She will also be showcasing her vocal students.  This is pure fun and great food, too.  Hope you can come.
Cafe Pink House, Saratoga


Monday, December 5, 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).  This is a special concert because it is honoring the marriage of Ruby and Robin.  Definitely come for this!
The Pocket, Santa Cruz, CA

Merrill Gardens Campbell

Friday, December 9 & January 27 , 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

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-10-38-57-amSunday, December 18 – 4:30 – 7:30 pm
This is my first time playing at the elegant San Jose Country Club for their Sunday Holiday Dinner.  I’m really looking forward to playing for the fine members of this club (members only).
San Jose Country Club, San Jose

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.  I’m also playing for the beautiful Christmas Eve Service on 12/24 at 5 pm.
Westhope Presbyterian Church, 12850 Saratoga Avenue, Saratoga,
(408) 255-0955.


Saturday, December 31 – 8:30 pm – 12:30 am
This is IT.  We are going to have a blast playing jazz at Cetrella in Half Moon Bay.  I’m really looking forward to playing with super jazz singer, Deborah Winters and our all-star band with bassist Doug Pahorhsky, drummer Jim Kassis and me.  Definitely make reservations early.  You will love the food.
Cetrella, 845 Main Street, Half Moon Bay

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).

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”.

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 (408) 234-2364 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.)



Visit MartanBlog to read Martan’s latest blog posts.  (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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