Our Initiatives

Mentor & Teach

Valley Jazz Cooperative

Through its performing ensembles, supported by guest artist clinics, online instruction, and other educational opportunities, the Valley Jazz Cooperative offers music students a uniquely valuable experience. While the combo and big band programs are a focal point for VJC instruction, the principle goal is to help each participant explore and develop their awesome potential as creative beings through the medium of jazz.

Since its founding in 2016, the VJC has diversified into other areas that are adjacent to its principal focus: the education of young musicians. For instance, the VJC supports outstanding program alums through its college scholarship program. The VJC Q&T podcast offers valuable insights from leading artist-teachers, as well as other creatives. VJC Publications continues to grow as a music publisher, providing jazz educators and performers with access to exceptional selections, including some wonderful examples of sacred jazz. And there are other resources, such as free educational downloads, a YouTube channel with tutorials and ensemble performances (both live and virtual), the VJC Facebook page with extensive photo galleries, and an online store offering apparel and more.

VJC programs are offered free of charge to eligible, committed, passionate music students (grades 8-12, from the Phoenix area), following a successful placement audition. Most in-person VJC activities take place in Ravenscroft, a premier music performance venue in Scottsdale.

Russell Schmidt

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