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We fulfill our mission by partnering with schools and community organizations in Phoenix and surrounding communities to start and foster youth jazz programs. We present concerts during Jazz Appreciation Month (April) to bring attention to this cause. We are passionate about what we know - that every child in Phoenix has the right to high quality music education.

We teach jazz music because it is rooted in improvisation which maximizes students’ creativity and self-expression. We believe jazz has the power to transform students’ lives intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Music is a universal language that teaches young minds to listen, express, problem solve, and create.

Girl in Piano Class
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Uniting Arizona Around International Jazz Day 

Since 2011, our Founder and Executive Director William “Doc” Jones has tenaciously and passionately united the State of Arizona around International Jazz Day (April 30th), an international day officially designated by the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization to highlight jazz and its role in uniting people around globe. Doc’s efforts led to the first official “International Jazz Day AZ Festival” at CityScape in Phoenix on April 30, 2011. Since then, festivals have expanded to include Scottsdale, Mesa, and an annual “Jazz at Lunch” on the lawn at Arizona State Capitol. In 2017, Governor Doug Ducey declared April as “Arizona Jazz Appreciation Month” giving credence to Doc’s efforts, and opening the door for future growth and success.

Providing Cultural Enrichment through Festivals & Events

The International Jazz Day AZ Foundation produces jazz events year round, but “Arizona Jazz Appreciation Month” has become one of the most anticipated celebrations of the year. April is highlighted by jazz celebrations throughout Arizona. Past festivals have featured jazz, blues, and Latin music performances from acclaimed local, national and international jazz artists like Azar Lawrence, Nicolas Payton, Carlos Rivas, Dr. Jesse McGuire, Maelo Ruiz, Kermit Ruffins, and Nayo Jones. We have connections with top name jazz artists, but it’s the generous support of community partners that help us bring the talent to Arizona stages. We’ve collaborated with the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Mesa in bringing jazz to their communities and we look forward to expanding to more cities in the future.

Giving Students Access to Music Education

Proceeds from festivals and other music events produced by the International Jazz Day AZ Foundation are redistributed to local community organizations that support and develop arts and jazz music programs for youth at risk like the Academy of Excellence, the Arizona Latino Arts, and Cultural Center, and Doc’s very own after school and summer music program, the NextStudent Academy. The Next Student Academy gives kindergarten through college students access to music instruments, music lessons, demonstrations by professional musicians, vocal lessons, and opportunities to perform on stage. These programs are solely supported by Doc’s big heart, his vast network of musicians that make special appearances, and through proceeds from Arizona Jazz Appreciation Month concerts, and funds raised throughout the year. Since establishing the NextStudent Academy, Doc has brought music programs to more than 10 schools in Maricopa County, and provided free music lessons to more than 5,000 students.

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DR. WILLIAM (DOC) JONES | FOUNDER
Since 2011, our Founder and Executive Director William “Doc” Jones has tenaciously and passionately united the State of Arizona around International jazz Day (April 30), an international day officially designated by the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization to highlight jazz and its role in uniting people around globe. Doc’s efforts led to the first official “International Jazz Day AZ Festival” at CityScape in Phoenix on April 30, 2011. Since then, festivals have expanded to include Scottsdale, Mesa, and an annual “Jazz at Lunch” on the lawn at Arizona State Capitol. In 2017, Governor Doug Ducey declared April as “Arizona Jazz Appreciation Month” giving credence to Doc’s efforts, and opening the door for future growth and success.
ALFREDO J. MOLINA | CHAIRMAN

Internationally recognized jeweler and top gemological expert known worldwide, Alfredo J. Molina is Chairman and CEO of Molina Fine Jewelers and Black, Starr & Frost, America’s first jeweler since 1810. He was honored in Washington, DC as one of seven caring Americans and was inducted into the Frederick Douglass Museum & Hall of Fame for Caring Americans on Capitol Hill. He was named a 2008 Outstanding Business Leader by Northwood University at the Breakers in Palm Beach. Mr. Molina was inducted into the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame in 2008 and was honored with the Jewelers that Care Award in 2011. Alfredo is very involved in the community and has donated time and resources to more than 300 charities.

His vision is “Changing the world one jewel at a time.” He believes that every individual is a precious jewel and it is our commitment and social responsibility to ensure that they become brilliant.

 
BILL BLACK
Bill has been practicing law for more than twenty years, and providing legal support for the Jazz Day AZ Foundation since its inception. Respected and admired by his peers and the public, Bill is a contributing editor to Arizona Business Lawyer, and is frequently the “go to” legal expert for local TV news stations. Bill is Past President and Board of Directors member of the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, and has served on the Board of Directors for the American Association for Justice, the American Bar Association, the Maricopa County Bar Association, and the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys.  
DONALD FENSTERMAKER
Donald is one of the most respected federal student loan experts in the United States and, and Founder and CEO of NextStudent, Inc, and key architect behind NextStudent.com. Under his leadership, the small scholarship software company one grew to be the third largest student loan consolidation company in the United States by 2006, trailing only publicly traded NelNet and Sallie Mae. NextStudent was an originator and consolidator of federal and private student loans, lending $6.8 billion. As part of NextStudent's philanthropic efforts, together with Doc Jones, Don assisted in building and funding the NextStudent Academy of the Arts. 
 
WILLIAM ATKINS
Bio to be included soon.