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"Participation in music and the arts has the potential to save kids' lives.  It has the ability to transform their lives, open doors and reveal to them their true authentic selves. Music revealed my best attributes and has allowed me to give my full creative self back to the world.

Jazz is my home, I couldn't do anything else."  


Ashby Anderson

Founding and Artistic Director



The Jazz Arts Consortium is dedicated to producing, performing, and promoting jazz as a cultural legacy for our community. We do this by helping underserved youth to fulfill their musical potential. Young people grow in confidence, learn to understand the rewards of discipline and hard work, develop their emotional intelligence and deepen their cultural understanding.  These skills benefit the community socially, culturally and economically.  


Our students utilize their skill sets to obtain scholarships to colleges and rigorous pre-professional training across the nation.  Students have received $1.6 MILLION in scholarships to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston and Grammy Camp in Los Angeles. 

Trombone Shorty Benefit Master Class

Jazz Mentor's Project

Jazz Mentor's Project

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  • To date, young musicians have been awarded over $1.6 MILLION in college scholarships.

  • Students have had the opportunity to learn from national professional jazz artists:  Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Christian McBride, Quincy Jones, Benny Green, Chris Potter, Trombone Shorty, Donald Harrison, Terrence Blanchard, and the late Frank Foster.

  • Since 2008, area underserved youth have had opportunities to compete nationally and to represent Richmond in various events: ESSENTIALLY ELLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ COMPETITION, DOWNBEAT STUDENT MUSIC AWARDS and BERKLEE CITY MUSIC BLOWOUT CONCERT.

  • Students perform regularly in the Richmond metropolitan area. Notable performances include: RICHMOND FORUM for Former President Bill Clinton, 2ND Street Festival, CENTERSTAGE with Trombone Shorty,  CIVIL WAR & EMANCIPATION DAY, 17th Street Marketplace events,  ESSENTIALLY ELLINGTON Regional Festval at the UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA Chapel Hill and the FERGUSON CENTER in Newport News.




  1. Funds are needed to hire 3 artist-teachers that will instruct 60 young musicians.

  2. Scholarship funds are needed for qualifying families that need tuition assistance for music instruction.

  3. Sponsorship is needed for the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Regional Festival trip, held at the University of North Carolina in February.

  4. ​An annual sponsorship of 4 Berklee Scholars' room and board costs at the Berklee College of Music Five Week Program.

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