About CJC

Mission & Vision


The California Jazz Conservatory admits musicians and graduates artists.


The California Jazz Conservatory educates future generations to sustain the African American art form, jazz. Positioned as the only independent, accredited music conservatory in the country devoted solely to the study and performance of jazz and jazz-influenced styles of music from throughout the world, the California Jazz Conservatory provides a dynamic community of students, artists, educators, scholars and audiences with a forum to study, perform, teach, research and appreciate jazz. 

Comprising two distinct education programs, the California Jazz Conservatory (CJC), a postsecondary degree-granting program, and the Jazzschool Community Music School (Jazzschool), a non-degree-granting community education program, the institution honors the contributions of past masters and promotes artistic innovation, bringing together a diverse music community to develop practical skills, acquire artistic sensibility, realize creative potential and find artistic voice. 

The California Jazz Conservatory

CJC is dedicated to fostering the development of the aspiring professional jazz musician and building audiences to sustain the jazz art form. With world-class teaching artists, the CJC integrates progressive education programs with public performance opportunities to prepare future generations for a fulfilling life in jazz.

The Jazzschool at CJC

The Jazzschool is dedicated to fostering the development of the aspiring jazz musician of all ages and levels and builds audiences to sustain the jazz art form through a non-degree-granting community education program, integrating classes, short-term workshops, artists-in-residency, and public performance opportunities.


Excellence in Education

High Ethical Standards

Historical and Cultural Heritage

Diversity in All of its Forms


Goals & Objectives

The following five goals and corresponding objectives serve to guide the CJC:

1. Promoting Excellence in Education

CJC strives to promote excellence in music scholarship and performance by:

  • Establishing and maintaining the highest artistic and academic standards and promoting a strong work ethic.
  • Providing an educational forum on par with nationally-ranked institutions offering programs in jazz studies.
  • Attracting and retaining a world-class faculty and inspired student body.
  • Providing a comprehensive curriculum and supportive environment to develop artistic sensibility and musicological insight relevant to the aspiring jazz professional and the jazz enthusiast.
  • Providing a forum to exercise freedom of expression both individually and as a member of a group in the democratically-structured paradigm of the jazz ensemble.
  • Maintaining a state-of-the-art, aesthetically pleasing, one-stop-shopping-for-jazz facility, housing classrooms, practice rooms, intimate performance space.

2. Fostering High Ethical Standards

CJC strives to foster high ethical standards by:

  • Providing an environment that promotes the development of well-balanced, conscientious, compassionate, forward-looking individuals who will contribute to a just society.

3. Honoring Historical and Cultural Heritage

CJC strives to honor the historical and cultural heritage of the jazz canon by:

  • Recognizing the historical origins of the African American art form, jazz.
  • Highlighting the prominent role the jazz art form has played in shaping American history and culture.
  • Offering curricula designed to inform and develop an appreciation of the relationship between jazz and American culture, as well as the global jazz diaspora.

4. Nurturing Diversity in All of its Forms

CJC strives to create a diverse, all-inclusive, close-knit community by:

  • Seeking and embracing the cultural richness of a diverse constituency of students, faculty, staff and greater music community.
  • Implementing targeted community outreach efforts and providing scholarship opportunities to deserving students in need of financial assistance.
  • Providing a nurturing environment for students, teachers, scholars and artists in the jazz field.

5. Developing Collaborations

CJC strives to build relationships and create collaborations with artistic and educational constituencies by:

  • Providing access to local, national and global perspectives and new and meaningful educational and artistic resources.
  • Creating opportunities for student and faculty exchanges with music education programs locally, nationally and internationally.
“To be a jazz freedom fighter is to attempt to galvanize and energize world-weary people into forms of organization with accountable leadership that promote critical exchange and broad reflection. The interplay of individuality and unity is not one of uniformity and unanimity imposed from above but rather of conflict among diverse groupings that reach a dynamic consensus subject to questioning and criticism. As with a soloist in a jazz quartet, quintet or band, individuality is promoted in order to sustain and increase the creative tension with the group — a tension that yields higher levels of performance to achieve the aim of the collective project.”

— Cornel West, “Race Matters”