Play A Part


Play A Part

Dear Friends of the CJC, 

History proves that jazz trumpeter Miles Davis had a gift for choosing incomparable personnel for each and every one of his groundbreaking bands, as he affirms in the following quote:

“That was my gift…having the ability to put certain guys together that would create a chemistry and then letting them go; letting them play what they knew, and above it.” — Miles Davis

Ever-inspired by Davis’ revolutionary artistry and operational philosophy, I have always thought of the school’s collective administrative staff, metaphorically, as a jazz ensemble — one that would, to paraphrase the jazz master, create a chemistry — a staff I could let go, letting them play what they know, and above it.

Confronted by challenges on multiple fronts over the last 12 months, our staff came together collectively to do just that: they created a remarkable chemistry — a tireless, unconditional and, moreover, innovative effort that kept the school thriving artistically and academically.

Despite the seemingly unending and formidable trials we faced, we took some very important steps forward. To name a few, we have:

  • Made significant improvements to our campus facility at 2087 Addison Street, enhancing sound, comfort and usability of every available space after the flood of October 2019.
  • Created and implemented an enterprising strategy to successfully transition from all-in-person to all-online instruction — within a matter of days when the impact of the pandemic eliminated person-to-person education.
  • Strengthened diversity, equity and inclusion in every area of our campus community, working with staff and outside resources to hire new personnel, implement new staff DEI training, and confirm a renewed commitment to equality in everything we do at CJC.

Still, these accomplishments would not have been possible — and the school would not be where it is today — without the support of our loyal jazz community, which has enabled us to meet these challenges with a substantial measure of success.

We are tremendously grateful for your ongoing support, and I send my deepest gratitude to you, our donors, who, along with our extended family of staff, faculty, students, visiting artists and board of directors alike, have played your part in our collective success. Together we created a chemistry, and played what we knew, and — most notably — above it. The California Jazz Conservatory continues to flourish because, just as in jazz, it is a collective effort.

Please take a moment to consider the contribution jazz has made to your life this past year, helping you through this difficult time, inspiring you, and bringing you joy. I hope you will support the California Jazz Conservatory’s ongoing important work. Your tax-deductible gift will provide our students and music community with uplifting jazz education and performance programs under the guidance of the Bay Area’s foremost artist-educators.

Kindly join us and continue to play your part in supporting and promoting the breathtakingly beautiful, forward-thinking African American art form, jazz.

Thank you — and here’s to Happy Holidays and the best of health to you all in the coming year!

My warmest regards,

Susan Muscarella



Hardymon Hall — renovated and enhanced with new sound modification

For more information contact Mary D’Orazi, Development Associate: (510) 845-5373 ext. 19 or make a secure online donation by clicking the “Donate Now” button at the top of the page.