Founded in 1969, the Jazz Institute of Chicago promotes and nurtures jazz in Chicago. We do this by providing jazz education, developing and supporting musicians, building audiences and fostering a thriving jazz scene.
We’ve been an active partner in the creative community since 1969; programming the Chicago Jazz Festival since 1979 and the Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz concert series at the request of the City in 2005 and partnering with the Chicago Park District since 1997 for the JazzCity concert series which brings Chicago’s stellar talent right into neighborhoods for free. Our partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) which began in the 80s continues with the Jazz Links education programs, begun in 2002, which link artists, teachers and students in performance and learning-based mentorships developed in partnership with Chicago Public School teachers. We nurture young artists through Jazz Links; sending master musicians into schools, introducing them to audiences at the Jazz Festival, JazzCity and Millennium Park; providing a real-life training ground to learn skills to become professional musicians. We train interns at the Jazz Institute and continue to support their careers as they become working musicians and full members of the community. We build support for the jazz clubs through our annual Jazz Club Tour introducing people to jazz clubs across the city and by other means of driving audience to the city’s jazz venues. In 2006 a partnership began with Estrada Poznanska in Poland to produce an annual Made in Chicago Festival in Poland.