Jazz in July Summer Music Programs Jazz in July is a concentrated two-week program, allowing participants to study jazz improvisation with some of the nation’s best jazz educators and artist. Located on the scenic UMass Amherst campus, Jazz in July offers jazz vocalist and instrumentalist a course of study that is challenging and enriching. Jazz legends such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Sheila Jordan, and Max Roach helped develop Jazz in July’s strong foundation in the traditions of jazz. As the jazz landscape changes, Jazz in July uses our foundation to evolve with the current innovations being developed in jazz. Cutting edge artist such as Vincent Herring and Geri Allen help lead Jazz in July into the ever evolving future of jazz, and ensures our jazz education vision will be current and relevant for many years to come.
Billy Taylor Endowment for Jazz Residencies In March 1999, Billy and Teddi Taylor established the Billy Taylor Endowment for Jazz Residencies to provide support for annual residencies at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center during which young, talented jazz artists perform and share personal professional experiences with students in the Jazz and African American Studies Program. Since that time, the Billy Taylor Jazz Residency has brought to campus such notable artists as vocalists Nnenna Freelon, Luciana Souza and Dianne Reeves; pianists Jason Moran and Danilo Perez; and violinist Regina Carter, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, and clarinetist Eddie Daniels. Residency activities include performances and workshops for aspiring jazz students on campus and in pubic schools and surrounding communities.
Valley Jazz Network An extension of the UMass Fine Arts Center, the Valley Jazz Network is comprised of jazz enthusiasts who promote and preserve jazz in the Pioneer Valley through education, performance, promotion and dialogue. Its purpose is to preserve jazz as an art form by delivering opportunities for performance, education and community networking and collaboration by promoting and preserving jazz as an art form, delivering jazz education in our communities and providing opportunities for members to network in a collaborative environment and bring their own ideas concerning jazz to fruition. Most importantly it is a group that is dedicated to keeping jazz alive and well in the Pioneer Valley.