Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation

Passing the Torch of Traditional Jazz

aka SacJEF   |   SACRAMENTO, CA   |


The mission of the Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation is to preserve and promote early jazz music, by supporting the education of current and future generations in the performance of early jazz, and in the history and appreciation of America’s true original art form; and to work collaboratively with other local, regional and national jazz educational organizations to accomplish our mission.

Notes from the nonprofit

We are currently developing a strategic plan for the future.

Ruling year info


Board President

DR William Au

Main address

PO BOX 661763


Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society Foundation



NTEE code info

Music (A68)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The need addressed by the Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation is two-fold. First -- the diminishing performance of early or traditional jazz [post-Ragtime, pre-Bebop] in modern American culture. What was once a popular music form has become mislabeled, misunderstood, and misplaced in today's technologically-oriented society. And although Jazz is a featured part of curriculum for music teachers in training. early forms of jazz are often overlooked completely. Second -- the lack of available music instruction and support in local schools, especially among lower socio-economic neighborhoods where funds for arts education are limited, if available at all. The need for instruments, additional performance opportunities and providing direct assistance to teachers is critical to achieving our mission of perpetuating traditional jazz.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Teagarden Jazz Camp

Annual camp held every summer for young musicians ages 12 through 20, under the tutelage of world-class traditional jazz musicians.Placing young musicians in a traditional camp setting and providing them with exciting and highly qualified instructors allows for maximum growth in their understanding of jazz. Providing a week of intense instruction in appropriate music theory, activities, ensemble performance, jam sessions and lessons, with plenty of opportunities for typical camp “fun” gives young musicians the best chance of achieving significant growth and creating a strong desire to continue to play and enjoy traditional jazz.

Bands are created, and meet daily to rehearse repertoire and apply lessons gleaned from theory classes, master classes, semi-private instruction and jam sessions. The camp presents nightly performances by all
student ensembles, as well as the faculty, and the camp culminates in a public concert in Sacramento.

Population(s) Served

Approximately 30 youth jazz combos, elementary through college, convene at Sacramento State University each February for a day of performance and feedback from professional musician clinicians. A different Guest Artist is featured each year, and performs in a preview concert with Festival clinicians. In addition, over $12,000 is awarded each year in scholarships to deserving student participants.

Our festival is believed to be the only scholastic student jazz festival specifically for traditional jazz

Population(s) Served

Every year the Foundation awards vouchers for $500 in private music lessons to deserving students. Students apply online or by mail, and applications are evaluated using a points system. In 2020-21, SacJEF awarded 17 Music Lessons Awards and in 2021-22 awarded 29.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

In an effort to "teach the teachers" as well as the students, the Trad Jazz Project pays clinicians to work with an individual school and music program over the school year to develop a jazz combo. In many cases, the instructors are unfamiliar with traditional jazz, and do not know how to teach improvisation. This program is free to schools and students. In 2020, with so many schools forced to go virtual, the Trad Jazz Project merged into The Lesson Bank, a series of online video lessons on various aspects of playing jazz. The Lesson Bank is available to everyone, free of charge, at

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

SacJEF recruits and trains musicians from local high schools to form a youth honor jazz band. The bad rehearses weekly and performs as frequently as possible for community events as well as out of town jazz festivals.

Population(s) Served

SacJEF receives donated musical instruments, has them refurbished as necessary, and "matches" them with students who cannot afford to purchase or rent their own. The instruments are gifted to the students with no restrictions.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Greater Arden Chamber of Commerc 2019

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

T.S. Eliot said, "There is only the trying; the rest is not our business."

The Sacramento Jazz Education is focused on giving children and young adults the opportunity to experience traditional jazz and make it a part of their life. A few of them will continue on to careers as professional musicians, others will become music teachers, and the rest will become engineers, doctors, or whatever. In every case, traditional jazz will be something they will take with them no matter what they do or become.

The SacJEF Education plan is based on a "cradle to college" concept. Our strategy is to reach out to children of all ages in the community and get them "hooked" on music. Then we try to get them "hooked" on traditional jazz and jazz improvisation, whether it's playing, listening, singing, or dancing. We do this by continuing and expanding our existing programs, reaching a larger portion of underserved children in our four-county region, and by partnering with other organizations with similar missions.

Growing and expanding programs means acquiring additional funding. Applications for grants, increased public donations, and careful administration are all key.

The SacJEF is managed by a board of individuals who share a passion for our mission, and who each offer expertise in their chosen field - social media/marketing, music instruction, fundraising, accounting, board administration, bequests and planned giving. With one paid staff member currently, most programs are administered by volunteers who are dedicated and enthusiastic. With sound, professional board management, our endowment fund investments provide a steady stream of income allowing us to plan for the future with confidence.

To date we have launched and supported six successful programs. But we are not yet reaching the youngest, or those with the greatest need. We will continue to increase visibility and community support, search and apply for grant funding, and reach out to a larger community of children. The Instrument Petting Zoo in local pre-k thru 2nd grade is next, followed by an Emerging Musician project aimed at young adults who need an extra boost to become professional musicians. We also plan to expand the Traditional Jazz Project to reach more schools and more teachers. Also in the works is a Teach the Teachers program for music instructors in learning how to teach improvisation.

So much to do!

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.)

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation

Board of directors
as of 11/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr William Au

Sutter Medical Center

Term: 2022 - 2025

Jill Harper


Jack Cornelius

Cornelius & Davini, LLP

Gregory Sabin


Jason Wanner

Self-Employed Musician

Felicia Weatherly

River City High School

Erin Treadwell

Sacramento County

Mica Dugan

San Juan USD

Patricia Jones

Sac Jazz Education Foundation

James Treadwell

State Fund Insurance

Michael Duffek

State of California

Ronald Jones


Nancy Parker


Mark Curry

Retired Administrator

Maxwell Kiesner

Consumnes River College

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/1/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian/Asian American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/28/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.