Youth Jazz Fellowships afford the opportunity for next generation jazz artists to engage in community arts presentations, document their season through smartphone photographs and videos as well as hone their literary skills through the JAN platform.


Our gallery contains photographs and videos. Share and repost. Attribution is YOUTHJAZZ.US



Our blog contains updates and highlights throughout the season. Share and repost. Attribution is YOUTHJAZZ.US

Week #5 of the 2022 Season of YOUTHJAZZ.US featured rehearsals by all four ensembles working toward musical cohesion and the fellows getting to know each other artistically. This video clip is a segment from The Watson Ensemble rehearsal on 1 May showing the first complete run of “E.T.A.” by Bobby Watson which will be featured on the 2022 FELLOWS album.


Week #6 YOUTH JAZZ COMPOSER CLINIC: Arranging music for Kansas City Area Youth Jazz this week. Original compositions by myself and Morgan Faw as well as this masterpiece (“Better Days Ahead”) by Pat Metheny for The Crain Ensemble that will be licensed and released on the 2022 FELLOWS album after we record in July. This has been among my favorite compositions for years and this arrangement is respectful of the Brazilian Samba of the original too. Part of the purpose and mission of YOUTH JAZZ is to provide a professional music industry experience to those Fellows selected for a fellowship each season. This experience is centered upon releasing a professionally recorded album worldwide and commercially on an internationally recognized record label. In order to record “cover songs” (music written by other composers) a mechanical license has to be purchased. And to arrange music by other composers a license to arrange that music has to be purchased as well. The only exceptions to this is if the composer gives “license free” use of their work (which has also happened in our program during each of our four seasons). So this is the beginning of that process – finishing the arrangement. The next step will be rehearsing, then recording it. And the final step prior to releasing the music will be securing the commercial licenses as mentioned above.


Week 7 of the 2022 Season of YOUTHJAZZ.US featured rehearsals by all four ensembles working toward musical cohesion and the fellows getting to know each other artistically. This gallery of photos is from The Smith Ensemble rehearsal at The Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. KCPS is another of our valued community partners.


Week 8 of the 2022 Season of YOUTHJAZZ.US featured some of the 2022 Fellows performing Jazz music in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area Community as Next Generation Artists and Peer Mentors during the ARC Label’s jam session program.

SEASON 4: May 21, 2022 Session

(High School Graduation Weekend Edition)


A native of Kansas City, Michael Herrera is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator. He received his formal training at the distinguished UMKC Conservatory of Music jazz program under Bobby Watson’s tutelage, the musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers from 1977-1981. Michael was awarded the Jazz Spirit Award during his time at UMKC. He has performed with the Kansas City Symphony and various musicians including Doc Severinsen, Bram Wijnands, Clint Ashlock, Marcus Lewis Big Band, Louis Neal Big Band, Vine Street Rumble, Bobby Watson, and many vocalists including Shirley Jones and Marilyn May.


Mike has developed an effective way of teaching how the diminished scale functions and how players can use the theory of the diminished scale to create substitutions over II-V-I’s in an improviser’s playing. He also shared practicing techniques players can use to execute all that was taught.


ARC Next Generation Jazz Jam Session is a non profit program of Burnett Music Foundation that brings all experience levels (new students to professional artists and educators) together in an educational setting at a jazz venue to underserved jazz musicians in the more rural communities of the Kansas City metropolitan area. BMF has partnered with Frontier Community Credit Union and 424 Lounge to sponsor the program free of charge to participants and audience members alike. A welcoming but appropriately focused learning environment, these jazz jam sessions have become a favorite among Kansas City area jazz musicians who are not geographically close to jazz jam sessions conducted downtown. The program has been well-attended over the course of each season and safely reached over 100 students during the social distancing pandemic year alone. The jam session program also features Kansas City Area Youth Jazz Fellows as next generation artist clinicians and peer mentors for other students. ARC recording artists are directly involved with mentoring program participants. Dr. Mike Pagan, serves as the resident clinician for each season, and B.J. Jansen, is the program curator.


Week 9 of the 2022 Season of YOUTHJAZZ.US featured rehearsals by all four ensembles working toward musical cohesion and the fellows getting to know each other artistically. The biggest aspect of rehearsals to this point has been understanding the improvisational theory of each work and identifying album soloists. This video clip is a segment from The Crain Ensemble rehearsal on 22 May showing the first complete run of our special arrangement of “BETTER DAYS AHEAD” by Pat Metheny which will be featured on the 2022 FELLOWS album.


Week 11 of the 2022 Season of YOUTHJAZZ.US continues working on the music for the 2022 FELLOWS album and mastering the improvisational theory required by each composition.


Week 14 of the 2022 Season finds us putting the final arrangements together for the recording session on July 31st. Here’s BETTER DAYS AHEAD by Pat Metheny (arr. Burnett) MIDI Mock Up vFinal for the 2022 FELLOWS album. This has been one of my favorite compositions for many years. It has a beautiful and optimistic melody. And the harmony is tremendously cool. I selected this work for The Crain Ensemble to perform and record this season because after auditions this past spring we had the level of musicians who could approach a work of this complexity. We have an introduction and open solo section on the changes of the head, the last soloist has backgrounds on the second time through that chorus, then the coda. Watch it on YouTube. This season we are also learning about “permission to arrange” and “mechanical licensing” for recording works by other artists. We’ll be working with Tresona again for the arranging license and Harry Fox Agency for the mechanicals. Visit the entire https://YouthJazz.us website for more information about the program. It’s lots of fun. Get involved!


Week 18 of the 2022 Season is the recording session at BRC Audio Productions in Kansas City. See the posted “Call Sheet” for the details and information. Recording a professionally produced album that is released commercially on a professional record label is the basis of the YOUTHJAZZ.US professional music industry experience each of the four seasons. However, 2022 saw several firsts: (1) We were able to realize Fellows playing paid gigs by booking and bringing live instrumental Jazz music concerts to people in the community who may not otherwise be exposed to the music; (2) We had so many audition candidates for fellowships (200 email inquiries alone) that we were able to have four ensembles and name them after some of our KC Jazz icons – Leon A. Brady, Clarence Smith, Bill Crain, and Bobby Watson; (3) and, we were able to augment our guest mentors listing with more of top teaching artists working in Jazz today who are willing to come in and pour some useful knowledge into the program participants. Thanks for another great spring and summer of Youth Jazz. Here’s the 2022 FELLOWS album cover featuring another work of photography by our friend, Duane Hallock.


Burnett Music Foundation purposely began in phases by creating four Jazz music-centered businesses as its core programs over the last 15 years. At the heart of all BMF programming is the inherent synergy of building community, building educational opportunities, and building arts infrastructure in the Kansas City metropolitan area (and ultimately beyond).

See our work:

o Artists Recording Collective – ARC Recording Label (https://ArtistsRecordingCollective.biz)

o Bird Boot Camp (https://BirdBootCamp.org)

o Jazz Artistry Now (https://JazzArtistryNow.com)

o Kansas City Area Youth Jazz (https://YouthJazz.us)

Tax Deductible Contributions: We are a Tax Exempt Organization under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501 (c) (3). Donors can deduct contributions they make to us under IRC Section 170. We’re also qualified to receive tax-deductible bequests, devises, transfers, or gifts under Sections 2055, 2106, or 2522.

Visit https://BurnettMusicFoundation.org






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