JazzU students with trumpeters Jon Faddis, Terell Stafford, and Sean Jones.


JazzU places talented middle and high school musicians in small jazz combos, which meet weekly between September and May. This competitive program selected 57 emerging musicians from a pool of nearly 130 who auditioned for the 2015-16 season. JazzU meets weekly beginning in the fall of each year (dates and times are determined by students’ schedules). Besides the benefit of weekly instruction from JazzU faculty members, students will have the opportunity to meet and work with musicians participating in the Jazz St. Louis Artist Residency Program, which have included such musicians as Terell Stafford, Jon Faddis, Esperanza Spalding, Sherman Irby, Byron Stripling, the Clayton Brothers, and Cyrus Chestnut. A decade ago, the Staenberg family gave an initial gift to fund a training program for a group of student musicians. That support helped us grow the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars group into what is now our acclaimed JazzU program. Now, JazzU is funded by a lead contribution from the Monsanto Fund with ongoing support from the Staenberg Family Foundation, as well as gifts from the Arthur & Helen Baer Charitable Foundation and Ameren Missouri.

JazzU-student groupJazz St. Louis All-Stars

The Jazz St. Louis All-Stars comprises the top students in the JazzU program. Placement in this group is a result of JazzU auditions in the spring. The All-Star ensemble serves as JSL’s cultural ambassadors at many area events.

JazzU Classes Include

  • Ensemble Playing
  • Improvisation
  • Music Theory Concepts
  • Listening Strategies

JazzU Faculty

Regular JazzU faculty include the area’s finest musicians and educators, including Cody Henry (trombone), Andy Ament (saxophone), Aaron Lehde (saxophone), Adaron Jackson (piano), Jason Swagler (saxophone), and Kaleb Kirby (drums). We are also pleased to have pianist Peter Martin as a permanent Artist-in-Residence with the JazzU program.

Student Eligibility

To be eligible to attend JazzU, students must be in any grade 6-12 and attend a school in the St. Louis Metro area (Missouri/Illinois).

Become a Member of JazzU

The application deadline for the 2016-17 school year is April 29, 2016. Click here for an application and more information on becoming a member of JazzU!

Tuition and Fees

We are able to offer accepted students scholarships that cover the cost of participation in the program. These scholarships allow us to keep JazzU free for all students.

Lead sponsor


with support from

Arthur and Helen Baer Foundation


Ameren Missouri


Founding sponsor of the JazzU program

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