Founded in 2009, the California Jazz Conservatory (CJC) is positioned as the only private, accredited music conservatory in the country devoted solely to the study and performance of the African American art form, jazz, and related styles of music.
We offer two distinct education programs:
- Master of Music in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, and Associate of Arts in Jazz Studies degrees are awarded by The California Jazz Conservatory.
- Classes, Workshops, Camps and Intensives are offered by our non-degree granting Jazzschool.
The California Jazz Conservatory also offers more than 200 performances a year, featuring visiting artists, CJC faculty and students.
“The most successful jazz education startup in the United States: the California Jazz Conservatory”
Jazz historian and author
The California Jazz Conservatory offers a 100% jazz-relevant curriculum taught by teaching artists who turn students into professionals, musicians into artists.
If you are an aspiring artist with singular professional ambitions in jazz, we invite you to consider the California Jazz Conservatory for your degree in Jazz Studies.
- A 100% jazz-relevant curriculum, taught by artist-educators with a proven track record of turning students into professionals, musicians into artists
- A synergistic, comprehensive program of jazz education and performance for today’s professional jazz instrumentalist and vocalist
- Small classes taught by professional artists and experienced educators in the field of jazz and related styles of music
- Opportunities to study with preeminent artists and educators
- Performance opportunities at prominent Bay Area venues and workshop opportunities with resident faculty and visiting artists
- Access to important networking opportunities
- A downtown campus located in the heart of Berkeley’s vibrant Arts District, with easy access to the San Francisco Bay Area’s thriving arts scene
The California Jazz Conservatory will help you become the artist you aspire to be, with a program that celebrates and promotes individual expression on all fronts and for all students.
The California Jazz Conservatory offers 4-year Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies and 2-year Associate of Arts in Jazz Studies degree programs.
The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jazz Studies:
The California Jazz Conservatory awards the Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Studies to instrumental and vocal students who satisfactorily complete CJC’s program of study of core music courses, electives and general studies courses.
The Associate of Arts Degree in Jazz Studies:
The California Jazz Conservatory awards the Associate of Arts degree in Jazz Studies to instrumental and vocal students who satisfactorily complete CJC’s program of study of core music courses, electives and general studies courses.
The California Jazz Conservatory offers students many benefits beyond the classroom that contribute to an exceptional education in jazz, including year-round opportunities to perform, record and tour.
- Performance opportunities, including end-of-semester concerts, our Rising Stars Summer Series, as well as regularly scheduled performances and jam sessions at CJC and throughout the Bay Area;
- Blue and Green Ensembles, providing advanced musicians an opportunity to strengthen musicianship skills, develop artistic sensibility, and serve as our jazz ambassadors;
- Tour and competition opportunities in various jazz festivals across the country and around the world, including domestic stops at festivals in Monterey, Reno, El Cerrito and the Next Generation Jazz Festival; and international performances in Montreux and Singapore;
- Recording opportunities with access to some of the world’s foremost recording facilities;
- Concerts and workshops presented throughout the week by visiting artists, faculty and students;
- An active and lively campus scene, housed in two buildings on Addison Street and located in the heart of Berkeley’s vibrant Downtown Arts District, with a convenient Jazzcaffe and a newly renovated CJC Bookstore located on campus
History / Campus
Founded in 1997 as The Jazzschool, a community music school teaching musicians of all ages and abilities and still an integral part of CJC today, the institution was granted accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) in 2013, making the California Jazz Conservatory the only independent, accredited, stand-alone music conservatory in the United States completely devoted to the study and performance of jazz.
Located in the heart of Downtown Berkeley’s vibrant Arts District, CJC’s campus consists of two buildings on opposite sides of Addison Street: 2087 Addison houses Hardymon Hall, a 100-seat performance venue, along with multiple classrooms and practice rooms; and 2040 Addison, CJC’s Fiddler Annex, housing Rendon Hall, a 100-seat performance venue, along with the Jennifer A. Maxwell Music Library, practice rooms, classrooms, a student lounge and offices.
The CJC campus is close to public transportation offering a connection to the San Francisco Bay Area’s renowned dining and entertainment opportunities, with multiple housing options located close by our campus.
“The California Jazz Conservatory is an exceptional institution, fostering the next generation of artists and educators, many on the cutting edge, performing, composing, teaching and touring throughout the world.”
–Dr. Jeff Denson / Dean of Instruction, CJC
The Jazzschool at CJC
The Conservatory’s community music school, offers classes and workshops for instrumentalists (piano & keyboard, guitar, bass, drums & percussion, saxophone, brass) and for vocalists, focusing on performance, theory, musicianship, improvisation, composition, history, culture, aesthetics, and the music business. The Jazzschool at CJC also offers a Young Musicians Program, with classes and workshops for beginning, intermediate and advanced young musicians.
The California Jazz Conservatory is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It does not discriminate in the admissions process or in the awarding of financial aid on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability.