The Jazz Education Network (JEN) is a global non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in the United States of America that seeks to advance jazz education, promote performance, and develop new audiences.

JEN was founded in 2008 in Chicago and now has thousands of members from every USA state, Canada and around the globe. JEN operates with a volunteer board, one full-time employee, various part-time employees and independent contractors and hundreds of volunteers from around the world.

Photo by Tom Schwarz


Learn more about JEN’s Co-Founders Mary Jo Papich and Dr. Lou Fischer.

Steering Committee

Learn more about the birth of JEN and its founding Steering Committee.

Founding/Charter Members

Learn more about JEN’s Founding and Charter members.


Here are just a few of JEN’s accomplishments since 2008.

1. Financial stability and growth. Financially, JEN has operated consistently in the black in every fiscal year.

2. Committees. Four standing committees and numerous special committees formed and in operation.

3. Annual successful and profitable conferences connecting 13,000+ musicians, educators, students & jazz afficianados (average attendance currently is upwards of 3,500).

4. Site locations for future conferences booked and contracts favorably negotiated for JEN through 2023.

5. The JENerations Jazz Festival, presented annually in tandem with the conference, was launched in 2012 and expanded to the current three performance/clinic venue profile.

6. The Mentor Program launched and multiple students formally mentored to date.

7. The Conference Outreach Program was launched in 2010 (with over 40,000 students served).

8. The JAZZ2U program launched in 2013, sponsored by annual generous donations from the Herb Alpert Foundation, continues to assist with placing jazz and jazz education in schools presently year round.

9. Scholarships are continually being established. More than $56,000 in scholarships and awards.

10. ‚ÄčA generous donation by Jamey Aebersold in 2013 improved the registration process at the conference.

11. The Young Composer Showcase launched in 2011 with 29 student compositions featured to date.

12. JENerosity Project. Thousands of dollars of instruments/print music donated to schools through the JENerosity Project.

13. Continued advancement of scholarly research, audience development and technology.

14. Launched The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation (EFCF) – JEN Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. in 2014.

15. JEN Strategic Plan developed and launched in 2014.

16. Website launched in 2008, redesigned, and re-launched again with continuing major new upgrades.

17. Affiliate relationships established, including Timeless Communications, DownBeat, JazzTimes, National Association for Music Education, International Association of Schools of Jazz, Music For All, Percussive Arts Society, MusicFest (Canada), International Society for Music Education, Chamber Music America, African American Jazz Caucus and growing list.

18. Planned gradual expansion of the JEN virtual office of one full-time employee, one part-time employee and independent contractors as part-time staff as part of the Strategic Plan.

The Jazz Education Network is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performances and developing audiences.