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Stanford Jazz Workshop (SJW) was founded in 1972 by saxophonist and educator Jim Nadel to create an environment conducive to learning, experiencing and appreciating jazz. Today, SJW remains focused on its original mission: to bring the best performers and teachers of jazz together with listeners and students of all abilities and backgrounds.

About

Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie with drummer Bill Stewart at 1984 Stanford Jazz Workshop

The organization’s activities embody this mission and include educational programs that are respected world-wide: Jazz Camp for musicians ages 12–17; Jazz Residency for adults; and the Evening Summer Program (weekday evening classes for general listeners and musicians of all ages and skill levels). To ensure accessibility to its programs, SJW annually awards more than 100 Jazz Camp tuition scholarships to youth with financial need. Stanford Jazz Workshop also organizes the annual Stanford Jazz Festival. Though many of its activities are held on the campus, SJW is neither legally nor financially connected to Stanford University.

To date, the students and artists who have participated in the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Festival number more than 10,000 and represent countries from around the world. Stanford Jazz Festival regularly presents Bay Area and world premieres and has presented hundreds of legendary jazz artists in performance, including Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Regina Carter, Joe Williams, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Sheila Jordan, Clark Terry, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Jimmy Heath, Jimmy Cobb, Lee Konitz, Ndugu Chancler, and Jackie McLean.

Prominent jazz artists who have participated in Stanford Jazz Workshop's education programs include Madeline Eastman, Taylor Eigsti, Larry Grenadier, Bill Stewart, Sylvia Cuenca, Julian Lage, and Joshua Redman.

Landmark events include a Diamond Jubilee for Dizzy Gillespie in 1992, which attracted many of the greatest musicians of our time to the workshop, and the 1997 reconstruction of Duke Ellington’s composition, Black, Brown and Beige[1][2], featuring the Louie Bellson Jazz Orchestra, Joe Williams, and Maurice Peress. In 2000, the Stanford Jazz Festival presented an on-stage meeting and musical/cultural exchange between one of jazz’s top rhythm sections--Mulgrew Miller (piano), Ray Drummond (bass) and Billy Higgins (drums)--and one of the great Cuban rhythm sections: the Chucho Valdés Quartet. Stanford Jazz Festival continues to attract a growing, diverse audience and critical acclaim.

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