The following links will take you to the web’s best jazz education and history sites:
Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz was founded in 1986 by the Monk family along with the late Maria Fisher, an opera singer and lifelong devotee of music. Its stated mission is “To offer the world’s most promising young musicians college level training by America’s jazz masters and to present public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world.” To that end the institute offers a number of programs including the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, the National Jazz Curriculum, Jazz In The Classroom, Jazz Sports, International Programs, and Television Specials.
Jazz in America - The National Jazz Curriculum was developed by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. It is the first jazz curriculum to use current internet technology and is offered free of charge on a national basis. The curriculum covers the elements of jazz as well as a chronological history of jazz from its beginnings to today. It includes lesson plans, jazz audio snippets, jazz photographs, a test bank and answer key, and a complete jazz resource library.
Smithsonian Jazz preserves and perpetuates jazz as an American national treasure--through collections, exhibitions, performances, recordings, publications, oral histories, and educational programs. At their site you will find information on jazz exhibits, events, concerts and jazz education, and classes on Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Carter, and Louis Armstrong. Also presented are jazz history resources from the National Museum of American History and a “Media Mix,” a multimedia search tool for jazz performances, oral histories, jazz artists, jazz videos, jazz portraits and jazz program notes.
The New England Jazz History Database is an active and growing library of materials focused on the History of Jazz in New England. It is the culmination of a partnership between the International Association for Jazz Education (MA Chapter) and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute JazzGroup.
The Red Hot Jazz Archive is a place to study and enjoy the music of the early jazzmen. Focusing on pre-1930s jazz, the site includes an extensive list of jazz band discographies, musician biographies, and more than two dozen essays.
The American Jazz Museum is located at one of the country’s jazz crossroads --18th and Vine, Kansas City, Missouri. The museum’s vision statement is “The American Jazz Museum is the premier jazz museum in the United States in an ever-growing field of music institutions. We are a world class destination dedicated to public service and collaborative efforts to expand the influence and knowledge of Jazz --America’s classical music --to the Greater Kansas City Area and audiences worldwide.”
DownBeat.com contains an extensive education section that includes Master Class --Recording And Mixing Acoustic Guitars, a jazz educational series of articles, Toolshed product reviews, and Jazz 101 which is a history of jazz presented style-by-style from The Very Beginning and Dixieland and Ragtime to Modern Sounds. The Artists section of the site includes hundreds of performer biographies.
The Duke Ellington Centennial Celebration site is an educational website to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Duke Ellington’s birth. It includes resources for educators and their students: standards-based lessons and activities, listening lessons, a youth art exhibit with original poetry reading, and over 100 photos from the Duke Ellington Archive of the Smithsonian.
Jazz Roots is dedicated to the history of jazz in all of its forms: Cotton Club, ragtime, classic jazz, traditional jazz, early jazz,, cakewalks, rags, vintage jazz, jazz history & sheet music. Check out the Jazz Roots Timeline.
All About Jazz provides information and opinions about jazz from the past, present, and future. The site has an international flair and includes reviews of jazz from around the world and interviews with international musicians. Of special interest on their site is Jeff Fitzgerald’s Genius Guide to Jazz, a series of humorous but highly informative articles on a variety of jazz and jazz-related subjects.
The Traditional Jazz Educators Network promotes and facilitates the teaching of traditional jazz history and performance techniques to young people. The Network facilitates the exchange of ideas, methods, techniques, and resources among traditional jazz educators. The Network also works to increase opportunities for young traditional jazz musicians and to improve and increase the teaching of traditional jazz in the schools.
Jazz at Lincoln Center is the world’s largest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to jazz. With the world-renowned Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Arturo O’Farrill, and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of education, performance, and broadcast events for audiences of all ages.
Gregfishmanjazzstudios.com is dedicated to the study of jazz improvisation. The site features original content discussing various aspects of jazz improvisation, theory, licks, chords and practice tips. The site also features excerpts and sound samples from Greg’s new book, Jazz Saxophone Etudes.
Dixieland Jazz will be particularly interesting to jazz students who want to know how jazz is played. It is organized into three projects: Louis Armstrong transcriptions, a set improvisation lessons, and a database of over 3000 “Band in a Box” songs.
Guide Tone Lines teaches you the nuts and bolts of arranging, orchestration, and improvisation, with an emphasis on jazz standards.