Special Events

Black History Month Concert Series at the CJC

The California Jazz Conservatory is proud to present their annual Black History Month Concert Series this February. The series will feature local legends Frankye Kelly, Ed Reed, and Steve McQuarry as well as rising star Amina Scott. Through their own arrangements and interpretations, the artists pay tribute to the rich history of Black American music.

February 4, 8 PM • $15
Black History Month – Frankye Kelly

Frankye Kelly pays tribute to some of the great African American jazz and blues singers from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.

February 11, 8 PM • $20
Black History Month – Amina Scott Quartet

In celebrating the tradition of black American music, the Amina Scott Quartet will perform compositions ranging from Oscar Pettiford to Cedar Walton to Amina’s own music.

February 18, 8 PM • $18
Black History Month – Ed Reed

Accompanied by an elegant new trio of piano, guitar and bass, Ed Reed celebrates his 88th birthday re-imagining his favorite music from the Nat King Cole Trio and the Great American Songbook.

February 25, 8 PM • $15
Black History Month – Steve McQuarry – A Tribute To African-American Jazz Composers

The Steve McQuarry Special Edition Band presents compositions by various African American composers. With Gerald Beckett on flutes, Kash Killion on double bass, Greg German on drums and Jesus Gonzalez on congas.

With weekly concerts all year long, the CJC is an integral part of the vibrant downtown Berkeley performing arts scene. The concerts are curated to feature a diverse mix of well known local jazz veterans, national and international touring artists, and rising stars. As an institution devoted to promoting jazz, the Black History Month Concert Series is an important tradition in which we are able to reflect upon the breadth and depth of the Black Artists who came before us.

Stellar Jam


The CJC is honored to partner with “Stellar Jam” – Japan’s acclaimed international jazz festival!


California Jazz Conservatory Celebrates International Jazz Day April 30 with Free Live Performances & More


BERKELEY, CA – The California Jazz Conservatory (CJC), in conjunction with the Downtown Berkeley Association, will celebrate International Jazz Day on Thursday, April 30 with free music and raffles at the Downtown Berkeley BART plaza.

Live jazz performed by CJC students and faculty will be the main event to commemorate this day, which was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. Starting at 4pm at the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza, bassist, composer and CJC professor Jeff Denson will lead the Conservatory’s degree program student jazz ensemble. At 5pm the Jazzschool Community Music School’s Brazilian ensemble will take the stage with multi-instrumentalist and faculty member Marcos Silva.

In addition to the live bands at the BART plaza, the CJC will be live-streaming the All-Star Global Concert from Paris, the 2015 host city for International Jazz Day. Some of the featured performers include Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau Diane Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Marcus Miller and Terri Lynne Carrington. Everyone is welcome to watch the live event from the CJC’s Hardymon Hall, a performance space located within the conservatory (2087 Addison St.) adjacent to the Jazzcaffè. Grab a cappuccino while you watch!

The CJC – a place where jazz is celebrated every day.

About the California Jazz Conservatory:
The California Jazz Conservatory (F/K/A Jazzschool, Inc.) is an innovative nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and performance of jazz — America’s national art form — and related styles of music from around the world. Founded in 1997, the institution has recently been granted accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), making it the only accredited, stand-alone conservatory devoted to jazz studies in the United States. The school is located in the heart of the vibrant Downtown Berkeley Arts District, home to Berkeley Rep, the Freight & Salvage and many other arts organizations.

Hailed as one of the nation’s most comprehensive schools of jazz and related styles of music, the CJC offers instrumentalists and vocalists of all ages and skill levels a broad spectrum of performance ensembles, lectures, workshops and private instruction. Courses are designed for the professional musician, the serious student and the jazz aficionado seeking personal enrichment.

About International Jazz Day:
International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change. International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month, which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout April.

Jazz pianist/composer and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock says: “On April 30th, there will be a worldwide celebration honoring jazz. Every single country on all seven continents will shine the spotlight on jazz for 24 hours straight, sharing the beauty, passion, and ethics of the music. Educators, visual artists, writers, philosophers, intellectuals, dancers, musicians of all ages and skill levels, photographers, filmmakers, videographers, bloggers and jazz enthusiasts will participate in Jazz Day by openly exchanging ideas through performances, education programs, and other creative endeavors.”

Websites: cjc.edu; jazzday.com; downtownberkeley.com
What: Live music and concert streaming from Paris, France
When: Thursday, April 30, 2015
Where: Downtown Berkeley BART plaza, Shattuck & Center St., – 4pm-6pm
and the California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St. Berkeley, 11am-6pm
FREE & open to the public

Catch Jazzschool Studio Band Concert ahead of its European Tour

Students Perform in Two Local Concerts to Raise Funds for Tour


Berkeley, CA – The Jazzschool Studio Band, featuring some of the Bay Area’s finest high school jazz musicians, will be touring Europe this summer, where they’ll be playing at the Vienne, Montreux, and Umbria Festivals, among other performances. As part of their fundraising campaign, the band is playing a number of concerts, including two special upcoming performances.

At the historic Hillside Club in Berkeley on Saturday, February 21st, the band will perform an 8pm concert that includes standards by jazz greats, including Herbie Hancock, Wes Montgomery, Chuck Mangione and Shorty Rogers, and will premiere a new composition, “Against the Current”, written by its pianist Matt Wong.

At the Margaret Lesher Theater in Walnut Creek on March 2nd, the Studio Band will play a “Big Band Summit” 7:30pm concert with the Las Lomas and Northgate High School Bands featuring special guests saxophonist Mary Fettig, trombonist Dave Eshelman and trumpeter Erik Jekabson.

Led by legendary bandleader, composer and arranger Dave Eshelman the Studio Band sounds mature beyond its musicians’ young ages. Concertgoers can expect incredible arrangements, fiery solos and amazing music, both exploratory and traditional. The group placed second at last year’s Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation national competition and a number of its soloists are in this year’s national selected Grammy band. If you want to see the future of jazz, this is the place to see it.

The Jazzschool Studio Band is part of the Jazzschool Community Music School at the California Jazz Conservatory (CJC) in Berkeley. The CJC is an innovative nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and performance of jazz and is the only accredited, stand-alone conservatory devoted to jazz studies in the United States.

Studio Band members are selected annually by audition; they perform frequently and participate in competitions throughout the U.S. The band has played at Yoshi’s and Savanna Jazz, as well as jazz festivals in California, New York, Seattle, Idaho and top European festivals. Studio Band members Lindsay Dobbs, Kanoa Mendenhall, Jonah Moss and Maxwell Schwartz, recently participated in the GRAMMY Foundation’s GRAMMY Camp at the 2015 GRAMMY Awards.

Tickets for the February 21 Berkeley Hillside Club concert are $20 general, $15 students and seniors, and $10 Hillside Club members. The Berkeley Hillside Club is located at 2286 Cedar St. Call (510) 845-1350 for information. Tickets for the March 2 Margaret Lesher Theater will be available at the door. The Margaret Lesher Theater is located at 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Call (925) 295-1400 for information.