We believe in the power of jazz to transform the lives of people and communities
The Jazz Arts Consortium (JAC), was founded in 2001 as the Jazz Composers Alliance. We are an arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting the jazz arts in Richmond, Virginia. The Jazz Arts Consortium (JAC) divides its resources among two areas: performance and education.
JAC serves as an “umbrella” organization for the following:
Afrikan Arkestra Ensemble (professional ensemble)
Work of Art Ensemble (professional ensemble)
Renaissance Jazz Orchestra (professional ensemble)
Muse Creative Workspace (educational concerts)
Richmond Youth Jazz Guild (music education academy)
Affiliate Composer and Musician Group (professional development liasion)
The Afrikan Arkestra is an 10-20 piece ensemble that performs original compositions by composer, pianist and artistic director, Ashby Anderson. His compositions highlight this ensembles unique instrumentation which is inclusive of an African percussion ensemble and griot. In 2015, the Afrikan Arkestra will perform Anderson's newly commissioned work by NEWMUSIC USA, Reclamation. Reclamation is a tonal poem for the reclaimed burial grounds for Negro slaves in historic Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, VA.
The Work of Art Ensemble is an 8-10 piece ensemble that performs original compositions and innovative arragements of jazz standards. They bring original, cutting-edge works to life and encourage experimentation. The Work of Art Ensemble has performed in venues in Richmond, Charolettesville and Washington, DC.
Our educational programs directly impact area underserved youth ages 8-18 through the Jazz Mentor's Project and the Richmond Youth Jazz Guild. Youth have opportunities to receive high quality music instruction, artistic mentoring, and access to pre-professional training. This form of access to the arts has produced opportunities our young apprentices to receive scholarships for national programs such as: Berklee College of Music Five Week Program, Kennedy Center Jazz Ahead, and Grammy Camp.
JAC also makes a significant impact on hundreds of people each year through educational community performances and professional residences for local musicians. Educational concerts are family friendly and feature our resident ensembles. These concerts are often presented in our partner venue, Muse Creative Workspace in the historic Shockoe Bottom corridor.
The Affiliate Composers and Musicians group continues our original focus to provide professional development for local jazz musicians through grantwriting, residences, and performance opportunities.