youth combo


Friends of the CJC,

With the holidays right around the corner, we at the California Jazz Conservatory are grateful for another action-packed year of in-person classes, workshops and concerts. We send our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to you for the generous part you have played in helping us take the school into its next quarter century.

2024 will be a new beginning for the CJC as it welcomes a new president: GRAMMY-recognized record producer, jazz consultant, artist coach, playlist curator, educator, and Billboard-charting jazz recording artist Nick Phillips!

PAP 2023 Circle Images

The years I spent founding and serving as President of the California Jazz Conservatory have been the best 26 years of my life! Passing the baton to a next president is bittersweet, but I look forward to going back to my greatest passion, teaching. I send my heartfelt congratulations to Nick, who is “everything jazz.” I am confident in his ability to take the CJC to the next level. Jazz has held a place at the top throughout his entire life — Nick and the California Jazz Conservatory could not be a better fit.

With President Phillips at the helm, I am confident we will have new opportunities to focus on the goals and objectives we are best known for: providing the aspiring professional and nonprofessional musician of all ages and levels with the highest quality jazz education programs possible.

I’d also like to report on several other notable accomplishments in 2023:

  • The build-out and reopening of the new Jazzcaffè at our 2040 Addison campus, providing gourmet-level fare, espresso drinks, wine and beer, and catering to the school’s students, faculty and staff, as well as our weekend concert audiences.
  • Expansion of our exciting partnership with JAMBAR to produce JAMBAR Presents, a concert series featuring visiting and local artists of note along with our esteemed CJC resident faculty. Past concerts have included Joe Lovano, Billy Childs, Mike Stern, Romero Lubambo, Marcos Silva, Anat Cohen, Mark Turner and more!
  • Congratulations to CJC Graduate Michael Echaniz (BMus 2020), whose debut album, Seven Shades of Violet (Rebiralost), received a 4-star review in DownBeat!

On another note, you may know that I teamed up with Paul Fingerote, Director of Communication, to write California Jazz Conservatory — A 25 –Year Retrospective (176 pages, soft cover). If you are interested in knowing more about how the school was founded and the stellar people who helped it evolve over the past quarter century, you can find it HERE on our website..

The California Jazz Conservatory is the only private accredited music conservatory in the country solely devoted to the study and performance of our treasured African American art form, jazz — the art form embodying the ideals of freedom and democracy. We ask you to join us in supporting this important endeavor that provides our community with a wide range of opportunities to study, perform and appreciate jazz.

The CJC would not have reached this important milestone — and touched thousands of lives — without your continued involvement and support. I can’t thank you enough for your generous support over the past 26 years! In this, my final letter as president of the CJC, I invite you, once again, to Play a Part in empowering the CJC to continue this important work into the next quarter century.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Dr. Susan Muscarella,
Founding President Emeritus

Screen Shot 2023-11-12 at 11.53.17 AM