About Us

Our Mission Statement

To better serve artists and audiences by elevating the role of jazz in the Baltimore region. 

Our Priorities

1. To develop new audiences for jazz
2. To strengthen communication within the jazz community
3. To improve media relations on behalf of the jazz community
4. To bring greater visibility to the entire array of jazz offerings in the Baltimore region
5. To provide greater access to performance opportunities for Baltimore-area jazz musicians

 
Some of the things we’ve accomplished:

  • Incorporated in June, 2004; received tax-exempt 501(c)3 status in March, 2012
  • Formed a diverse steering committee (now a board) of musicians, jazz fans, presenters
  • Enrolled 567 members to date
  • Established a partnership with Eubie Blake Center in 2003, which continues to this day
  • Employed a part-time employee who has produced our monthly newsletter since 2004; the newsletter is sent to every member and 300 are distributed to jazz venues and music stores each month
  • Received a start-up grant from Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and several grants for operating expenses from Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA)
  • Co-sponsored (with Baltimore Composers Forum) the first Baltimore Jazz Composers Showcase, attended by over 90 people, October, 2005
  • Co-sponsored (with Peabody Conservatory) a Vocal Workshop in October, 2005
  • Sponsored the Youth Jazz Congress, through a grant from BOPA, with six Baltimore City public school jazz bands, April, 2006
  • Sponsored a booth at Artscape every year since 2005, reaching thousands of festival patrons with information on jazz in the Baltimore metropolitan area
  • Developed Jazz for Kids in November, 2006.  The program has reached over one thousand children and family members at cultural centers, museums, schools and summer camps.  BOPA’s Free Fall Baltimore program has included Jazz for Kids every year since 2006.
  • Released our first compilation CD—Baltimore Jazzscapes—in July, 2006, and second CD—Baltimore Jazzscapes II—in July, 2009.  Thirty bands appear on the CDs, presenting a wide range of jazz styles.
  • Sponsored a forum on The Business of Baltimore Jazz, involving business owners, radio announcers, media representatives and musicians (June, 2007).
  • Published The Baltimore Real Book, with 54 compositions by 18 Baltimore jazz artists (November, 2007)
  • Participated in the Baltimore Festival of Maps, spring, 2008.  Historical and current maps of Baltimore jazz venues were displayed at City Hall, Eubie Blake Cultural Center, Reginald Lewis Museum, two City libraries and at a Baltimore Chamber Jazz Society concert.
  • Since 2008 we have awarded scholarships to talented young musicians at Eubie Blake Cultural Center, Contemporary Arts’ summer music program, Douglass High School and Baltimore School for the Arts.
  • In September, 2008 we added a user-friendly, free jazz calendar to our website; updated the website, baltimorejazz.com, in 2012 to be more socially interactive
  • From 2008 to 2010 BJA presented live jazz series at Tremont hotels and Bertha’s restaurant.
  • Presented 26 bands at Artscape, 2008 – 2011
  • Since September, 2009 we have sponsored weekly jam sessions, under the direction of pianist Derrick Amin, at Randallstown Community Center.
  • In 2011 we established a partnership with WEAA-FM.  Among other activities, we co-sponsored Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance’s December, 2012  Happy Hour.
  • In 2011 Dr. Anthony Villa, chairman of Loyola University of Maryland’s Music Department, started the BJA Big Band, which performs Baltimore-area artists’ compositions and arrangements.  The band’s 2012 concert at Loyola was broadcast on WEAA-FM.
  • BJA informs musician members of performance opportunities and offers discounts on concert tickets and music supplies/services.