Photo by Helen Traphagan

ARTS INTEGRATION PROGRAM

A primary purpose of the KC Area Youth Jazz program is to teach participants how to integrate art in ways that impact community.

  • INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIPS - KC Area Youth Jazz products and services partner with other community entities to develop programs that address community needs such as tourism.
  • INTEGRATED ARTS EDUCATION - KC Area Youth Jazz increases student performance using recording engineering technologies during the course of our season by conducting professional recording sessions and creating a professionally produced commercial recording.
  • VISITING ARTISTS - KC Area Youth Jazz has partnered with The New School Jazz program in New York City to bring internationally known artists to the KC area and to bring our KC Area Youth Jazz Fellows to New York City for workshops, concerts and master classes.

Our Model

PHOTO: Mr. Burnett with jazz great and Kansas native, Bobby Watson after his performance with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra at Unity on the Plaza.

YOUTH JAZZ is a premier student jazz artist opportunity.

Our approach is to engage the next generation of jazz artists in an applied performance environment.

Our philosophy is to develop selected jazz repertoire for refined performance opportunities through a high-level of understanding and musicianship.

Our vision is to attract the "best of the best" among the KC area youth jazz musicians.

 

What's unique about our process is the opportunity to allow the most accomplished jazz artists of our youngest generation a forum among peers each season.

Among the distinct and interesting facts about our model is that students are exposed to and learn about both - the music and the business of jazz.

This sets us apart from many jazz education programs.

Our Story

Mr. Burnett returned home to the Kansas City area in 2001 after serving 22 years with military jazz bands. He worked with Leon A. Brady's famous jazz education program for five years (until Mr. Brady retired) and then with other jazz education programs.

PHOTO: Mr. Burnett with Mr. Brady presenting a Jazz Clinic for fellow Music Educators at the Kansas Bandmasters Association conference.

YOUTH JAZZ Terms and Conditions are found here.

Meet the Team

Photograph by Duane Hallock

YOUTH JAZZ brings together a diverse range of individuals, organizations, and businesses to support our mission. We bring validated individual and collective professional experience to the jazz education and ensemble performance process. It's about using our collective expertise and knowledge to develop another generation in the jazz continuum.

CHRISTOPHER BURNETT

64DD529E-8CE8-4168-8E11-3E389A70F979

Founder & Artistic Director

Mr. Burnett is a prominent Kansas City saxophonist, bandleader, instructor, and raconteur. He operates Artists Recording Collective, a record label that has released dozens of albums by jazz musicians from around the world. He is an educator, arts business leader, and award-winning composer who began his extensive professional career with military jazz bands going pro directly upon graduating high school at 18 years old. He is a writer and the editor of Jazz Artistry Now magazine.

BILL CRAIN

BILL-CRAIN

Engineer & Consultant

Mr. Crain is the director of the IAEA program, recording engineer and managing member of BRC Audio Productions, Inc. and served as the first Musical Director and Engineer of Kansas City Area Youth Jazz. Bill received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Masters of Arts in Music Composition, with focuses on theory and conducting, at California State University at Chico; and completed his ABD focusing on commercial woodwinds and conducting, in the Doctor of Arts program at Ball State University.

WILLIE THORNTON

IMG_0727

Associate Musical Director

Rev. Thornton is a professional musician and educator based in Kansas City. He has taught music for over twenty years and is currently the Vocal Music Director at the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. Rev. Thornton is an in-demand clinician and conducts gospel music workshops and clinics around the country. He is a music producer and recording studio owner. He has recently completed the mastering of his debut solo recording project.

WILL CRAIN

IMG_1731

Associate Musical Director

Mr. Crain encourages intellectual curiosity, ingenuity, practiced technical competence, musical literacy, and deep understanding of fundamental concepts in his students at The Institute of Audio Engineering Arts. In addition to his audio engineering endeavors, he performs with several noted ensembles. His Bachelor in Music Performance with a focus on jazz and studio music and his Masters of Arts in Music with focuses on audio engineering, electronic music composition, and higher education, degrees were earned at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory.

2019 PRODUCTS

Join our other Supporters! The sale of KC Area Youth Jazz products allows us to offer youth participation in this program at no charge – yes, it’s FREE! Get involved today. Community members can also get involved with YOUTH JAZZ as chair sponsors, volunteers, consultants or business affiliates.