DEFINING MUSICIANSHIP IN THE 21ST CENTURY: The Strategic Partnership Between Jazz at Lincoln Center and NAfME

When it comes to understanding the full impact that Jazz music has had (and continues to have) on the world, there’s one man in particular who has made it his life’s work to ensure that this legacy never dies.

Wynton Marsalis is one of the most recognizable names in music today, and his work as a trumpeter and composer is legendary.  His 30+ year career has earned him countless GRAMMYS, awards, and accolades.

But it is his work as the managing and artistic director at Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) in New York that shows where the man’s passion really lies. 

Wynton Marsalis 4


The April issue of Teaching Music magazine features a full story and interview on Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, available to NAfME members in both print and digital formats.

In addition…

To watch NAfME’s exclusive video interview with Wynton Marsalis in New York City, recorded in February 2014, click here…

To watch NAfME’s exclusive video interview with Todd Stoll, VP of Education for JALC, and to learn more about what JALC has available for NAfME members, click here…

To read Wynton Marsalis’ full message that he’s currently sharing with music educators nationwide, as well as elected officials, corporate leaders, and organizations of all types, click here…


Keeping Jazz ALIVE!

At JALC, Marsalis is able to truly keep our country’s jazz heritage alive, and it’s there that he can share it with both young and old, teaching them what the only true original American form of music really means on a much deeper level than just “notes on a staff”.

For NAfME members, Marsalis has a particularly important message to share about the importance of teaching kids to reach for their absolute best, to play challenging music of the highest quality, and to understand the sacrifices that we all make to keep our heritage intact.


The NAfME-JALC Strategic Partnership

In early 2014, NAfME and JALC formed a strategic partnership to provide members with education resources that will enhance the ability to teach jazz and to understand the importance of jazz as part of our collective history.

JALC educational programs include the Band Director Academy, JALC Youth Orchestra, Visiting Band Workshops, Family Concerts, Middle School Jazz Academy, and an early-childhood jazz program, WeBop.

A signature program of JALC education is “Essentially Ellington”, a free jazz education program for high school jazz bands.  Through this program, 15 bands are selected tyo tgravel to Jazz at Lincolnd Center in new York and participate in the Essentially Ellington festival and awards program.

JALC will be selecting education resources for elementary through high school teachers that will be available through direct links and on the NAfME website.  These will include lesson plans, suggested teaching strategies, and other jazz ed materials.  JALC will also support the All-National Honor Jazz Band with music/charts, two $500 scholarships, and live or virtual coaching sessions.

NAfME is proud to recognize Jazz at Lincoln Center as our newest strategic partner, and will work together with them to orchestrate success for students and teachers.


For more information, read “Defining Musicianship in the 21st Century” – the cover story in our April issue of Teaching Music magazine, available in print and digitally for NAfME members.

Additional information on JALC education.


Each April, Jazz Appreciation Month  (JAM), created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, celebrates the past and and present of jazz. This year the museum honors saxophonist John Coltrane. The 50th Anniversary of Coltrane’s composition, “A Love Supreme” will be celebrated in a series of in-museum, online and community events developed by the Smithsonian. NAfME is a JAM strategic partner.


Nelson Duffle, NAfME Digital Communications Manager, April 1, 2014. © National Association for Music Education (











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