UMKC Jazz Friends

The Vision of UMKC Jazz Friends is to help build a nationally recognized Jazz Studies Program at UMKC.


UMKC Jazz Night at the Folly, April 2016

Support the UMKC Jazz Studies program by joining Jazz Friends today! Click here.
The Mission of Jazz Friends is to:

• Encourage the creative artistry and talent of UMKC Conservatory students and faculty;

• Heighten the eminence of the Conservatory Jazz Studies Program;

• Celebrate and promote the legacy of Kansas City jazz.

Jazz Friends serves as a community support group/membership organization for the Jazz Studies program at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. Individuals and businesses interested in jazz and the support of our mission are invited to join Jazz Friends!

Membership information, including membership renewal, can be found on our membership page here.

One of our core objectives at The Jazz Friends is to continue to attract and retain national talent to the UMKC Jazz program. Because of your support, the UMKC Jazz Program continues to produce the next generation of emerging artists!

To continue our legacy, scholarships remain a priority. To discuss contributions, scholarship, or sponsorship opportunities please contact our Development Chair, Bill Eddy:

For additional information about UMKC Jazz Friends, including our annual fundraiser, Jazz & BBQ held annually in October, please contact Tamara Morris, or (816)-235-6173

Jazz Isn’t Dead in KC, article in KC Business Journal!  Read on!

Spring 2017 Jazz Concerts
21 Feb. 7 p.m. 11 O’Clock Jazz Band with Blue Valley West Jazz Band, Blue Valley West High School, 16200 Antioch, OPKS, FREE

7 March 6 p.m., Jazz Nights at the Green Lady, Green Lady Lounge, FREEJazz students of all degree levels perform standards and originals in combos. All compositions and arrangements will be announced from the stage.

14 March, 6 p.m., Jazz Nights at the Green Lady, Green Lady Lounge, FREEJazz students of all degree levels perform standards and originals in combos. All compositions and arrangements will be announced from the stage.

13 April, 7:30 p.m., UMKC Jazz Night, Conservatory Artist Series, Folly Theater. This collage concert at the Folly Theater will feature a variety of ensembles that represent the entirety of jazz studies at the Conservatory, directed by Bobby Watson and Dan Thomas. Tickets: $12 general public; $5 for all UMKC faculty, staff and all students with UMKC or student ID

Save the Date for the 15th Annual Jazz & BBQ, October 9, 2016, 6 p.m., buffet and silent auction; 7:30 p.m., concert, featuring the jazz studies program students directed by Bobby Watson and Dan Thomas, honoring the life and musical legacy of Sonny Rollins.  For more information call 816-235-6173 or click here.


About the Jazz Studies Program
The UMKC Jazz Studies Program has been featured at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, in Japan, and at several major collegiate competitions, including a performances at the University of North Texas where the program achieved top honors, and at the Jazz Education Network where the program received outstanding performance awards. Students have received prestigious individual awards in national and international instrumental jazz competitions. Many students have gone on to perform throughout the globe, pursue graduate studies, or combine teaching and performance careers. With more than 20 schools participating, the annual Conservatory Jazz Festival promote jazz in the schools and provides educational opportunities for developing musicians. The Conservatory also supports the Kansas City Jazz legacy through collaborations with the American Jazz Museum.

Jazz Friends’ annual event, Jazz & BBQ, raises funds to support the Jazz Studies Program. Funds raised help bring to the campus major jazz performers who conduct clinics, private lessons and open rehearsals to help students hone their professional skills. Recent artists include:

Joe Chambers, Roy Hargrove, Gerald Wilson, DelFeayo Marsalis, Christian McBride, Richard Johnson, Essiet Essiet, Mulgrew Miller, Edward Simon, Terrel Stafford, Sean Jones, Dave Douglas, Stefon Harris, Benny Golson, Markus Strickland, Ralph Peterson, Jon Faddis, Jack Walrath, Richard Johnson, Eliot Mason, Brad Mason, Randy Brecker, Donal Fox, Paquito D’Rivera, Robin Eubanks, Nicholas Payton, Curtis Lundy, Ray Mantilla, John Hicks, Mickey Bass, Javon Jackson, Bill Saxton, Slide Hampton, Aaron Parks, Curtis Fuller, Brian Lynch, Conrad Herwig, Brian Auger, Rob Scheps, Jimmy Owens, Wynard Harper, Jaleel Shaw, Kenny Drew Jr., Kevin Mahogany, Michael Carvin, Logan Richardson, Greg Abate, Ben Allison, Howard Johnson.