Blues Alley Jazz Society

The Blues Alley Jazz Society (Society) was founded in 1985 by internationally renowned jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and the eponymous supper club located in our Nation’s Capital. We are dedicated to the enlightenment of our youth, and the promotion of jazz music through education. The Society tries to achieve that ambition through multiple education and performance opportunities each year designed to benefit young jazz musicians in the Washington metropolitan area.

Now in its 3rd decade, the Society has been responsible for the formation of the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra, the Blues Alley “Summer Jazz Camp”, the BIG BAND JAM, and the 2nd Ella Fitzgerald Competition! The Blues Alley Youth Orchestra rehearses weekly and performs monthly. The Blues Alley “Summer Jazz Camp” is a two-week opportunity for young jazz musicians to learn big band ensemble principles, receive improvisation instruction from area professionals, and collaborate creatively with their peers. The BIG BAND JAM! is an annual festival celebrating the concept of “swing” in the jazz orchestra setting. It happens each year in April during Jazz Appreciation Month.

The Society places a premium on the jazz education of our youth, and so it created a network of public-private partnerships to provide free and open performance-oriented instructional opportunities for jazz students in the National Capital Region. The Society formed a series of strategic alliances with leading national/regional entities such as the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Sponsors of these educational programs have historically included parks, museums, banks, embassies, corporations, municipal and social service agencies as well as other non-profit organizations similarly dedicated to musical arts education.

In an era in which funding for musical arts education has sadly disappeared, the Society continues to extend itself to those less fortunate or disenfranchised from the mainstream of society, and invites you to do so too.  Contributions are appreciated, and they can be made online or through the mail. The Blues Alley Jazz Society is a fully recognized, tax-deductible, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with offices registered in the District of Columbia. For more information on how to contribute please select Donations.