The Mission Statement

Mission & History

Mission: To support the education of current and future generations in the performance and appreciation of early jazz.

Vision: To be a nationally recognized resource for the education of early jazz, partnering with diverse schools and arts organizations.

Purpose: Supports and promotes the education of early jazz for young musicians and educators, teaching teamwork and collaboration skills that build confidence, belonging and fulfillment. We create and support joyful environments for music performance and artistic expression.


The Foundation was formed in 1996 in anticipation of a large donation to fund the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society’s annual Youth Jazz Camp – now known as the Teagarden Jazz Camp.

The Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society rightly felt that the best way to manage this and other endowments and to ensure that it was used for the express purpose of youth jazz education, was to create a separate foundation.  The Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society Foundation established its own board of directors and 501c(3) identity separate and distinct from the Society. In 2018, the name was changed to the Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation.

Through donations and endowments, the Foundation has expanded its youth education programs,  and in 2013 began not only funding but producing and managing both the Teagarden Jazz Camp and the Traditional Jazz Youth Band Festival.

In addition to the camp and the youth band festival, the Foundation’s other programs include

  • Music Lessons Awards presented annually to approximately 25 young musicians so they can afford private music lessons with an emphasis on Jazz.
  • TNT – The New Traditionalists, a regional Honor Band of High School jazz musicians
  • Instrument Match – a program to match donated instruments with youth musicians
  • The Trad Jazz Project – a partnership with local schools to sponsor clinics and music instructors to teach traditional jazz in school band programs.

More than 95% of the donations received by the Foundation are earmarked specifically for one or more of the youth education programs. Although the Foundation was an outgrowth of the former Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society, by law and by its mission the Foundation’s spending is restricted to these programs.

What is Trad Jazz?

The Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation is a major force in local jazz education programs that foster the preservation and enjoyment of “Trad Jazz.”

Traditional Jazz music was born in New Orleans and is also known as Dixieland, Ragtime, and Hot Jazz. Notable styles include Chicago and San Francisco.   Trad Jazz Bands typically uses a front line of trumpet, clarinet and trombone in contrast to more modern styles which usually include saxophones. It is the foundation for all jazz music, especially improvisation. It is also well suited as form that young musicians can learn, and excel at, thanks to talented educators.

A sample of Traditional Jazz can be found on our YouTube Playlist.

fest clinician 1 18