Photo by Helen Traphagan


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.



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.



Engineer & Musical Director

Mr. Crain has become a regular presence on the local and regional Jazz circuit and has also garnered a prestigious reputation as a "musical" recording engineer at his own BRC Audio Productions.



Assistant 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.



Mr. Crain is an in-demand musician and teaches at the audio engineering degree program that Park University has partnered with BRC Audio Productions to offer through its International Center for Music.


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.