Although it will look a little different than years past, First City Players is ready to launch its annual Jazz and Cabaret program next week.

The program typically brings performers from around the country to Ketchikan, where they work as guest instructors, spending a few weeks teaching interested Ketchikan artists about music and vocals. The program culminates in performances that showcase what the participants learned.

The 2022 Jazz and Cabaret program will kick off on Monday, with the final showcases scheduled for Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, according to FCP Executive Director Elizabeth Nelson.

"In some ways, it's very similar to what it's been in the past, and in other ways, it's very different, just because of where we are in the world right now, right?" Nelson said during a Tuesday morning interview with the Daily News. "So the biggest difference is we are only bringing in one musician this year, and we have sort of scaled the program back. But in that, we are also looking at making it really, a more intensive program for vocalists, where they can learn a lot more, just about making a song their own."

The guest instructor is Matt King of New York, who has previously come to the First City as a guest instructor for Jazz and Cabaret classes.

There are three classes being offered for this year's program.

"Two of them are what are called the Great American Songbook," Nelson explained. "Jazz standards, things that, really, it stretches from the 1920s through the 1960s. So like, Gershwin and Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart and through The Beatles ... you could say that Billy Joel and other sort of pop artists could fit into that. What were changing this year is we are encouraging people strongly to choose something from that songbook, which is, you know, thousands of songs."

After that, King will work with the vocalist to hone the song into something unique for their own voice.

"So I'm really excited about those classes, I think they're going to be really fun and interesting, and I think everybody whose involved will learn a lot," Nelson said.

There's also a class focusing on the Broadway song book.

"And that can be anything in a Broadway show, and what we are looking for with that, is that people will learn more about how you create character through song. So Matt will be playing those songs and I will actually be working with him as an instructor, (on) just how you create character through song."

The jazz-focused classes take place on the evenings of Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while the Broadway-focused classes are set for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings.

More information about the program can be found at