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, KCJO 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 events calendar to find out when our next KCJO JazzWorks! event is taking place.
What We Offer
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.
KCJO 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.
Delving into topics ranging from Kansas City jazz history to performance mini-classes for aspiring musicians, KCJO’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!
Artistic Director Clint Ashlock leads guest artists and jazz experts in informal discussions that allow attendees to gain a little insight into the composers, musical elements, and historical context of featured repertoire. These engaging chats are opportunities to get to know the music and the musicians on a personal level, and to connect with them on a deeper level. Jazz Chats are offered one hour before each concert in our annual series and are free to attend.
Listening Parties, hosted in collaboration with the Kansas City Public Library, are one-hour sessions of live music and discussion of influential musicians, albums, and movements in jazz, curated and presented by our KCJO musicians. These free events are designed to foster interest, knowledge, and appreciation for jazz, one of Kansas City’s most iconic exports.
Free or Discounted Concert Tickets
The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra believes that the first step to loving music is hearing and experiencing it, and 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.
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, Kansas City Public Library, Harmony Project KC, Big Brothers Big Sisters KC, and the Boy Scouts of America, 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.
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.