Indy Jazz Fest and The Indianapolis Jazz Foundation would like to thank Lilly Endowment in working with us to provide jazz education and community programs in the Indianapolis area.  Please consider a contribution to Indianapolis Jazz Foundation to support our continuing efforts to showcase and perpetuate our city’s amazing jazz heritage for all audiences and especially for the next generation of jazz musicians

Our education program, Jazz Impressions, is dedicated to promoting accessible and continuing music education for all students in the greater Indianapolis area while cultivating and nurturing a sense of community and city pride. As a way to ensure that student musicians are exposed to all facets of music education (clinics, performances, exposure, marketing, and networking), we are proud to foster and bring together multiple generations of musicians inside and outside of the classroom setting as a way to mentor and support in a real-life ‘gigging’ scenario. By providing musicians of all ages with more venues in which to share their talents, Jazz Impressions is passing the torch to the next generation in hopes of increasing the presence, awareness, and appreciation of local/regional jazz musicians and the communities that support them, that are so vital to the cultural development of this city.

A calendar of upcoming educational events highlights our clinics, performances and community concerts.  Educational events are also available for scheduling by contacting

Education Director | Rob Dixon at rob@indyjazzfest.net or
Program Director | Joshua Thompson at Joshua@indyjazzfest.net


Jazz Impressions Convocation Series: This special in-school convocation series is designed for large assemblies of students and faculty interested in a multi-media and interactive format for learning jazz history, its contributors, and the future of the genre locally and abroad. Examples of convocation topics available include:

 a) Jazz in the 21st Century- features the Indy Jazz Fest Band flanked by two video screens and accompanied with narration to tell the history of jazz through poetry and songs from the early 1910s through the modern jazz era as well as highlights the life and influence of infamous local legends.

b) Slide Hampton Tribute- a history of the local legend that is Slide Hampton

c) Latin Jazz in America- a history of Latin music and its influence on modern jazz

d) The B-Sides- an in-depth expose on the history of blues and its impression on jazz music today

Presentation time can vary – approx. 1 hr

IPS School 91 Convocation – Highlighting Melody, Syncopation, Harmony and Music Conveying Emotion

IPS School 91 Convocation – Highlighting Melody, Syncopation, Harmony and Music Conveying Emotion

Master classes/Symposiums– In school topical symposiums led by a rotating cast of professional musicians, managers, promoters, and venue owners that describe their personal journey to becoming an industry professional  while providing inside information on one of the following subjects:

– the fundamentals of jazz

– jazz composition/arranging

– combo etiquette

– music promotion, production, and networking

– music technology and software

– music as a business

– local artists’ contributions to jazz in the U.S.

*All symposiums allow for Q and A sessions and topics are based on curriculum that is approved by Indiana state standards. Panel discussions are also available.  Symposium time can vary depending on class periods and availability – approx. 60-75 min

Pike High School Band with Instructor Rob Dixon

Pike High School Band Master Class – Pentatonic Scale

Pike High School Band New Composition with Soloists

Jazz Jams

A unique opportunity for student musicians and their families to participate in jam sessions led by prominent musicians at an authentic jazz club. Students are provided an experience to learn first hand combo etiquette and the nuances of public performance under the tutorial of Indy’s premiere jazz musicians.

Summer Student Jazz Jams at the Jazz Kitchen

Summer Student Jazz Jams at the Jazz Kitchen

Community Outreach and Engagement

A series of community based concerts highlighting the history of jazz music as well as internationally acclaimed Jazz Masters through concerts, visual arts and storytelling.  Performances may focus on a period in history or a select musician’s music while sharing the impact the music has made on jazz and the international jazz scene.   These outreach events will be featured in accessible and public spaces around the city of Indianapolis such as The Central Library, The Legacy Center of the Near Eastside, Garfield Park Arts Center, The Landmarks Center and University of Indianapolis to name a few.

Student Combo Performances and Combo Competition

A friendly venue for student performance and a competition for student jazz combos to be held at Indy Reads Books the First Friday of the month 7-9pm.

Student Jazz Combo Performances at Indy Reads Books

Student Jazz Combo Performances at Indy Reads Books

Indianapolis Youth Jazz Ensemble

In sponsorship with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Indy Jazz Fest and Indianapolis Jazz Foundation support this honor jazz band for 9th -12th grade students enrolled in their school music program who which to further their knowledge and musical excellence with other like minded students.  Students must audition to be accepted into the Ensemble.  For more information visit the ICO website at http://icomusic.org/youthEnsemble.htm