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education

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra believes firmly that familiarity and understanding are the first steps to love and appreciation, and with this in mind, we strive to educate people of all ages and backgrounds about this art form we call jazz through our education initiative, JazzWorks. Our resident musicians are not only outstanding performers, but many of them are also celebrated educators. Each year, we offer a variety of educational materials and events, created and led by these incredible musicians and our guest artists. Check our upcoming events to find out when our next JazzWorks event is taking place.

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What We Offer
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Listening Parties

Listening Parties are one-hour sessions of a live performance and discussion of influential albums, musicians, and movements in jazz, curated and presented by our musicians. These free events are designed to foster interest, knowledge, and appreciation for jazz, one of Kansas City’s most iconic exports.

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Jazz Café

Jazz Café brings in a live combo over a school’s lunch hour at no cost. This program is designed to help foster the next generation’s appreciation of jazz through a fun, immersive, and of course, educational listening experience, without detracting from any class time.

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Masterclasses

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra's masterclasses give students and lifelong learners the opportunity to observe or perform for jazz icons and local jazz masters. The language of jazz has been passed down from generation to generation, and we continue that tradition through these classes where participants can learn not just to play, but to be true musicians.

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Workshops and Clinics

In these flexible-format events, students benefit from the expert perspective of some of Kansas City’s finest jazz musician-educators. Jazz education is part of our mission, and we strive to provide engaging and inspiring guidance to the next generation of jazz lovers and practitioners.

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Video Digest 

Delving into topics ranging from Kansas City jazz history to performance mini-classes for aspiring musicians, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra’s digital education series is equal parts entertaining and informative, and a fun and engaging way for people of all ages to learn about jazz. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date!

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Free and Discounted Tickets

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra believes that the first step to loving music is hearing and experiencing it. We strive to ensure that all students have access to outstanding jazz performance. We invite school ensembles, groups from extracurricular student programs, and individual students to join us for minimal or no cost. Contact Nina Cherry at nina@kcjo.org for more information. 

Contact us at info@kcjo.org or 816-225-4949 to schedule an event for your school or group.

We are proud to partner with many local schools and organizations to offer this diverse array of educational activities and content, including Kansas City Kansas Community College, Johnson County Community College, Operation Breakthrough, Kansas City Parks and Recreation, Harmony Project KC, and Big Brothers Big Sisters KC, among others. We would be thrilled to work with your students or to offer an engaging educational experience for your group. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about scheduling an event.

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The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is a 501 (c)(3) charitable and educational organization intent upon investing in the understanding, appreciation and acceptance of jazz as a classic American art form. Within the education community, jazz is utilized and appreciated at virtually every high school and college/university campus, thereby providing the Orchestra with a potential bounty of prospective “partners” in new educational endeavors. This spirit of interest and potential collaboration will be pursued as the Orchestra accelerates its educational efforts.