Send a kid to Jazz Combo School

While we have had to cancel Milestones Summer Jazz 2019, we have managed to put together a kind of “jazz camp lite” that will give 30+ kids the opportunity to play in a jazz combo with one of the Valley’s top jazz educators at “jazz combo school!”

However, when we cancelled camp, we also lost our scholarship sponsor. Though jazz combo school is much more affordable, just $125, there are still a number of kids whose families cannot comfortably come up with that amount.

That is where we hope you can help! Please consider making this one-time donation to Milestones Youth Jazz that will go directly to jazz combo schooL tuition for kids who can’t afford it.

JUST $125 will give a kid 10 hours of jazz instruction! And if that’s a bit much, any amount you donate will be most appreciated! Thank you for your help!

Jazz Combo School to be Offered as Alternative to Summer Jazz Camp

Though Milestones Summer Jazz had to be cancelled due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, we are pleased to announce that we will be offering an alternative! Summer Jazz Combo School will in two sessions: June 17-21 and June 24-28. Participants will play in small group jazz ensembles that meet for two hours per day all week long.

In these five two hour sessions with a jazz pro you will get experience playing in a small group jazz ensemble with others who are playing at your level.

Read more about it and sign up on the Milestones website.

Central Valley Jazz Educators Conference 2019

Conference Agenda

Conference cost is $50 in advance. You will be directed to a payment page upon registration. (If you are not ready to pay at this time, please make a note of the payment page URL so you can return there when you are ready. It is not accessible from this page). Tuition should be paid prior to the conference.

To support the future jazz educators of the world, cost for students is $20, and this fee is refunded when you show up for the conference!


When Art Meets Jazz 3

We don’t know what will happen WHEN ART MEETS JAZZ 3 on Saturday, May 18 at the Fresno Art Museum. Until the event unfolds, we can only guess. That’s the beauty of art (and music) that is based on improvisation.

WHEN ART MEETS JAZZ will be held on Saturday, May 18 from 2 to 8 pm in the beautiful Sculpture Garden of the Fresno Art Museum in Fresno. The event is not the typical art show or jazz concert. Rather than displaying their work while a jazz trio plays softly in the background and the audience sips chardonnay and nibbles on cheese, numerous Valley artists will begin the event with a blank canvas – literally. As the show begins, they will draw their inspiration from the improvised music of many of the Valley’s best jazz musicians and the atmosphere of the event itself and create work on the spot.

The first hours of the event will feature the Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop ensembles – students from around the Valley who have distinguished themselves at young ages and received abundant recognition for their efforts.

Later in the afternoon, a collection of the Valleys best jazz pros will take to the stage, including ensembles featuring Benjamin Boone, David Aus, and Richard Giddens.

Accompanying the musicians will be notable local artists who will follow no rules except to be inspired by the sights, sounds and rhythm of the event. The artists will include Rob Weibel, Anne Scheid, Kevin Stewart-Magee, Caleb Henderson, Julia Wolli-Scott, Ron Wiggington, and Evany Zirul. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase the artwork created during the event.

Of note, artist Rob Weibel will be demonstrating his amazing pyrotechnic art skills as he creates dramatic art pieces with gunpowder.

The event will also include no-host cocktails and food vendors.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop, and the Fresno Art Museum.

Tickets in advance: $25 | after May 11, 2019: $30 | children 10 and under: free.

Tickets will be available later this month at the Fresno Art Museum, 2233 N First Street, 559.441.4221 or at

The event is a production of the Fresno Art Museum, JazzFresno’s Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop, and Art Happenz.

Event Details

Milestones Summer Jazz 2019

Milestones Summer Jazz Camp will take place on Monday, June 17 through Friday, June 21 at Glacier Point Middle School in Fresno, CA. The camp is for jazz musicians and aspiring jazz musicians alike, from those just entering middle school to college students 20 years and younger.

We have assembled a faculty of outstanding jazz educators and musicians that reads like a who’s who in jazz. The faculty will lead small group ensembles and provide master classes and instruction in jazz theory and improvisation for kids playing at every level.

Visit the Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop website to learn more.

We Got The Beat Music Camp

The We Got The Beat Music Camp includes five days of improvisation, ethnic drumming, drum set sessions and fun, fun, FUN!

During the 3-hour daily sessions, students learn how to make music using various percussion instruments such as congas, bongos, drum sets, marimbas, vibraphones, xylophones, rain sticks, tambourines, and many, many more. Students learn percussion rhythms with fun phrases, like “Banana Underwear.” First you say it, then you play it! They learn how to play melodies and harmonies, and how to play within a large group.

At the end of the week, the kids perform for family and friends, showcasing the skills they have acquired in just one week. You’ll be amazed at what you hear!!! No experience is necessary to attend. This camp will enhance any previous music training and provide a strong foundation for future music learning. Come and join the fun – we promise you will wish the week would never end.

We Got The Beat is a program that teaches students how to play music in a way that is wholly aural and experiential. Reading music is not required nor taught. WGTB teaches children the qualities of responsibility, teamwork and cooperation through playing in a band – valuable skills that can be applied well beyond the WGTB experience. WGTB teaches these and other qualities through the study of classic rock, Latin and jazz songs, played on drums and percussion instruments. We Got The Beat also helps build self-confidence through performance, and further encourages individuality & self-expression through improvisation.

Camp Dates: June 10-14, 2019

Learn more and register

We Got the Beat Big Show

The Big Show, the annual fundraising concert for the We Got the Beat and Beyond the Beat programs, will take place on Friday, April 5, 2019 at 7 pm at Clovis Hills Community Church, located at 10590 N. Willow in Clovis.

Tickets are available at the door and just $10 for adults, $5 for 12 and under and FREE for preschoolers.

Come on out and support this amazing program!

Why JazzFresno?

This is the time of year when we ask you to support the work we are doing at JazzFresno. But first, we would like to have you ask yourself this question: What is it in the JazzFresno mission that makes you care enough to offer financial support? 

To help you answer that question, first you should know that our mission is to support jazz performance and education in the Valley. In 2018, we took a number of steps toward strengthening that commitment. Among them:

  • The launch of our new website at that features a redesigned jazz calendar. Now, you have a place to go to find out what’s happening when it comes to local jazz (and there is a lot happening!).
  • A new student jazz calendar, developed in conjunction with the jazz studies leaders at both Fresno City College and Fresno State. You will be amazed at what these kids are doing!
  • A soon-to-be program we are developing with KFSR where you will hear about these events on the radio!  
  • Our new Thursday night “Behind the Music” series, coming in January, that will offer you insights into the jazz world from the perspective of the jazz musician.
  • A continued focus on providing you with world-class presentations and performances in our Jazz at the Library series.
  • A persistent emphasis on jazz education through our We Got The Beat and Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop programs, including two summer camps, as well as the sponsorship of our annual Jazz Educators Conference.

In addition, we also made the decision to bring on a volunteer executive director. We believe this will help us to coordinate our efforts and work even more effectively in the community. 

So, if you can point to any of the above and say, “Yes! That is why JazzFresno deserves my support”, then please take a few minutes to visit the support section of this website, and become an investor in our commitment to the Valley jazz scene. Your gift is 100 percent tax deductible. 


The JazzFresno Board of Directors

p.s. We have a goal of 50 “sustaining investors.” You can read more about that program at the link above. We sincerely hope you will join us! 

WGTB Gigs: Sept thru Dec 2018

Want to see the Beaters in action? You can catch We Got the Beat at the following events. Check it out!

  • Caruthers Fair, September 29 at Noon
  • ALS Walk October 28 Woodward Park at 11am
  • 2-Cities Marathon on November 4 from 7am-9am: Along the trail to the west of Via Church on Minnewawa
  • Clovis Elementary on December 10 at 1:45pm and 2:30pm

Intro to Jazz Class Now Offered

Milestones Youth Jazz is pleased to offer a new class that will serve as a “first step” for kids who might be considering getting into jazz. The Intro to Jazz group is for those who want to learn about jazz improvisation while playing different types of jazz in a group setting. It is for students of all ages, from sixth grade through high school.

The group meets Tuesdays from 4:30 – 6:30 pm at the Milestones Facility at 90 E. Escalon Ave, Ste 115 in Fresno.

You can attend the first session at no charge, so there is really no reason not to come and check it out!


It’s the perfect group if you can check at least one of the following boxes:

  • I have at least one year of experience on my instrument and I am ready to learn about jazz improvisation.
  • I would like to get some jazz experience before joining my middle or high school jazz band.
  • I’m already in my middle or high school jazz band, but I’m not that confident when it’s my turn to play a solo.
  • I’m just wondering what this jazz thing is all about, and I would like to find out in a more low-key setting without all the pressures of a formal performance.

“Introduction to Jazz” is a great way to build confidence, learn more about jazz in general, and get jazz improvisation experience.

All instruments are welcome. For more information contact the Milestones project director