Jazz House Kids
347 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
ContactMs. Melissa Walker
For general operating support of Jazz House Kids' robust, year-round programs in the schools, at the Jazz House facility, and in the community.
What started as an idea in 2002 for Montclair resident and professional jazz vocalist and Jazz House Kids founder Melissa Walker, and later her husband, world-renowned bassist Christian McBride -- to help students embark on a journey of musical creativity and learn about jazz's cultural and international legacy -- has become a rich gathering place of musical talent and shared promise. Jazz House Kids has gained a reputation as of one of the nation's preeminent arts education and performance organizations. Our mission is to transform lives by helping students gain an "artistic edge" through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship. By offering pre-professional, year-round musical training along with community engagement and education programs for young people from all backgrounds, we use jazz as an effective teaching tool to enhance academic achievement, build essential 21st century skills, and cultivate tomorrow's community leaders and global citizens.
Leading jazz magazine JazzTimes calls Jazz House Kids "one of the most successful and respected jazz education programs in the country." Our school-based programs have served more than 45,000 New Jersey students performing before half a million people, and our out-of-school time program is recognized for producing some of the nation's top young musicians.
Jazz House Kids immerses students in a culture of success, using an authentic jazz education approach. Our students have unparalleled access to dozens of extraordinary, professional jazz musicians and enjoy opportunities to perform at world-renowned jazz clubs including the Blue Note and Dizzy's Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Unique to our organization is the capacity to serve a diverse student body, ranging from students with special needs to tomorrow's rising stars.
Jazz House Kids has a 15-person team of full- and part-time educational and artistic staff, more than 50 teaching artists, a committed Board of Directors and Advisory Committee, and 75 enthusiastic volunteers. In our current 2015 fiscal year, Jazz House Kids is on track to receive a total of $130,000 in personal contributions from our Board members. Additionally, these members have secured $70,000 in contributions from their companies. With these contributions included, the Board contributes $200,000 -- nearly 15% of our $1,360,000 organizational budget.