Launched in 2010, the A-JAM Alamo Colleges Jazz Mentorship Program creates opportunities for San Antonio students to succeed both locally and internationally in the intercultural collaborative field of jazz. To understand our mission, take five minutes to watch the trailer for a documentary on the unique international jazz meeting we prepare our students to attend. This is the grand prize for members of the A-JAM program, and it is--as founding member Ronan Guilfoyle stated--"a pearl beyond price." In the words of A-JAM student Odie Wallace (IASJ Denmark 2013), the experience is "life changing." 

As the filmmaker says, it's "a documentary film about jazz education that's not about the music. It's a film about collaboration, creativity, and community; a film about sharing ideas across cultures, a film about the legacy that passes from generation to generation; a respect for the elders, and the hope that the younger generation will take that knowledge and pass it forward. David Liebman, who won the NEA Jazz Masters award in 2011, founded the IASJ [International Association of Schools of Jazz] about twenty years ago with the sole purpose of creating a forum for cross-cultural communication." - Leon Segal, filmmaker and psychologist.

An intercollegiate project, A-JAM is open--by audition--to music majors in any of the five Alamo Colleges. Auditions are held each year in November, at which time finalists are selected to enter the A-JAM program. During the spring semester, A-JAM students perform locally and are coached by regional professionals and visiting artists. Each year--funds permitting--one lucky student is invited to participate in the annual meeting of the International Association of Schools of Jazz, held in a different country each year. Singer Jeané Gaines, Northwest Vista College, participated in the IASJ meeting in São Paulo, Brazil in 2011 as the first A-JAM grand prize winner and international program delegate. Click here for more student informationCheck out our A-JAM Hall of Fame! For more information on auditions and a list of the top 10 tunes to know in jazz, click here.

In creating the project, my aim has been to combine the best elements of two extraordinary programs with which I've been fortunate to be involved:  the International Association for Jazz Education's (IAJE's) "Sisters in Jazz" mentorship program and the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ--the brainchild of NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman).  The A-JAM program gives San Antonio students a chance to learn their craft at home and to collaborate with students and teachers abroad. 

We thank the following organizations for their support of our program. Community partners include:

Basic Information

Release Date September 2010

Genre Jazz

Members Any fulltime student at one of the five Alamo Colleges or designated consortium school can audition to become part of the Alamo Colleges Jazz Mentorship Program.

Each year, a new A-JAM combo is selected by audition, and subsequently coached by such jazz luminaries as NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman, New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton, jazz pianist Geri Allen, West African guitarist Lionel Loueke, New York bassist Gene Perla, Pakistani-American guitarist Rez Abbasi, San Antonio's Small World band, featuring Kyle Keener and Polly Harrison, and other other top professionals.

Hometown San Antonio, TX

About Creating local and global opportunities for success in jazz...

Description GRAND PRIZE RECIPIENT is invited to the annual meeting of the International Association of Schools of Jazz, which is held in a different country every year. NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman is IASJ Artistic Director.

A-JAM members receives professional coaching, and live and studio performance dates. During the spring semester, they perform locally and are coached by regional professionals and visiting artists. The grand prize recipient is invited to participate in the annual meeting of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) in June.

Vocalist Jeané Gaines, Northwest Vista College, attended the weeklong IASJ meeting in São Paulo, Brazil in 2011 as the first A-JAM grand prize winner.

History "The IASJ is an organisation which is the brainchild of the great saxophonist Dave Liebman who in 1989 contacted a group of people from around the world who were involved in jazz education with a view to forming an organisation that would allow for the free-flowing exchange of ideas, students and teachers between schools that teach jazz. I was one of the people who sat in that room in Germany over 20 years ago, and I’ve seen the organisation grow into what it is today.

"The jewel in the crown of the organisation is the Annual Meeting which takes place in a different country each year, and in which schools of the organisation send teachers, students and representatives to meet for a week, exchange ideas, do masterclasses and have the students play together and play a concert together at the end of the week. It’s an amazing week and one that really emphsises the notion of jazz as an international musical language." - Ronan Guilfoyle, Ireland

Biography LIVE AUDITIONS are held at Northwest Vista College Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.

Program Director Katchie Cartwright,Ph.D., Professor of Music, Northwest Vista College kcartwright2@alamo.edu 210-486-4828


Current Location San Antonio, TX

Press Contact Katchie Cartwright, 210-486-4828, kcartwright2@alamo.edu

Website http://a-jam-mentorship.blogspot.com

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