Jazz music is a uniquely American art form. It is pure expression of individualism within the confines of social (and musical) structure. It is an amalgam of several disparate cultures blending into one swinging melting pot. Born of hope and freedom, Jazz celebrates American values and portrays clear democratic ideals, even though it was pioneered and performed largely by those who were routinely denied the full extent of the American dream. At its origins, it is the cry of a race of people transplanted against their will to American soil, a reaction to the oppression and the horrors they endured, and an expression in music of that which could not be openly said. Over the years this music has been celebrated and performed by people of every race, and culture. It is arguably America’s greatest and most welcomed export. It is America’s “Classical Music.”
Since our inaugural year in 2006, the mission of Jazz Arts Project has been to preserve, promote and perpetuate the American art form known as Jazz by producing jazz performances of the highest quality, creating educational programs about jazz and its history and to serve as an advocate for jazz.
As part of our philosophy, the “Project” believes that the jazz arts are a valuable national treasure to be nurtured and preserved. From our very first inaugural season, the organization has endeavored to remain true to our goals:
- To bring world-class jazz to New Jersey regional audiences;
- To preserve the history and foster the development of jazz;
- To increase public awareness and appreciation of jazz as an American national treasure; and
- To provide unique educational experiences for students to develop abilities and an understanding of jazz, so as to enrich their lives with pride, cultural identity, artistic expression and creativity.
We are extremely proud to have presented hundreds of successful jazz events within our community and to have reached out to tens of thousands of music lovers and students. Jazz Arts Project has repeatedly demonstrated the integrity of its commitment to maintain the highest achievements in artistic quality with an unflinching belief that music, and jazz in particular, reflects a unique and distinctly American contribution to the world. It is in that vein, and because we believe that the quality of human life is reflected in its respect for the arts and its creators, that our philosophy of making jazz music available and accessible to a broad audience at affordable prices enhances the lives of both listener and musician. It is in that shared experience that we come to know and understand each others humanity. It is Jazz Arts Project’s intention to continue to serve and honor that philosophy as we grow and broaden our presence and programs in even more local, regional and statewide communities.
Within our education and scholarship programs we provide tools for future generations of jazz artists and enthusiasts by introducing jazz to a diverse student population with an emphasis towards at-risk and under-served youth. These programs, in addition to enriching lives and nurturing and encouraging a possible career path in the arts, open up new worlds of expression and provide pathways to direct talent and energy. In our small part we intend to help create a continuing audience for years to come while preserving jazz as a true American treasure.