San Jose Jazz, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit service organization, was founded in 1986 to promote music through education and performance to help build a stronger, more vibrant community through participation in the arts. In 1987, San Jose Jazz produced its first jazz series, in 1989 its first jazz festival, and in 1993 its first youth education program. Today, San Jose Jazz is a dynamic, year-round arts organization that contributes to its community by producing a series of education and performance programs.
HIGH SCHOOL ALL STARS
High School All Stars is a high quality, regional, audition-based big band and jazz combo led by SJSU’s Grammy Award-winning baritone saxophonist and composer Dr. Aaron Lington. Catch these aspiring young musicians at SJZ Summer Fest on the Next Gen stage.
SUMMER JAZZ CAMP
Summer Jazz Camp is a two-week learning lab for talented and committed middle and high school students with backgrounds ranging from intermediate to pre-professional. One advanced combo from the camp will perform on the Main Stage at this year’s Fest.
Progressions is a rigorous music education and youth development program for underserved youth in the Franklin-McKinley School District. The program’s mission is to help keep participants in school, out of gangs, and on the road to becoming better students and contributing citizens. This year, we’ll work with nearly 1,000 students in five school sites.
San Jose Jazz conducts Master Classes in Silicon Valley middle and high schools to support and strengthen existing jazz programs. If you’d like us to visit your school, contact SJZ Summer Jazz Camp Director Wally Schnalle.
Summer Fest, our signature performance event and fundraiser, has explored and celebrated the musical and cultural heritage of Silicon Valley’s richly diverse community since 1990. The Fest celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019.
Winter Fest is a compact concert series focusing on what’s new in jazz and related genres. Recent artists include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Veronica Swift and Benny Green, Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, Donny McCaslin Group, Huntertones, John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet, Regina Carter, Nicholas Payton, Vijay Iyer, Thundercat, Robert Glasper Experiment, and José James.
Boom Box Stage
Inaugurated in 2015, San Jose Jazz’s mobile Boom Box Stage literally brings music “to the people” by driving a self-contained stage virtually anywhere. We partner with schools, other non-profit organizations, foundations, government agencies and corporations to bring live music to diverse and underserved audiences. Learn more about the project at sanjosejazz.org. If you’d like the Boom Box to help you with your event, contact Special Projects Manager Scott Fulton.
Newly-formed this year, this ever-evolving group consists of master players that have performed all over the country–including SJZ’s Summer and Winter Fests–and are core instructors at our Summer Jazz Camp in June. The brainchild of drummer Wally Schnalle, the ensemble allows each member to shine by bringing their own arrangements to the group. Look for the Collective performing at a venue near you–including Summer Fest’s Silicon Valley Stage.
Music in the Community
San Jose Jazz frequently curates and facilitates live music events in downtown San Jose and beyond—check the events page at sanjosejazz.org for event dates.