It has been said, many times, that jazz is a uniquely American art form. A product of African and European music traditions, jazz reflects the fact that we’re a “melting pot” of cultures. Additionally, there is a democratic nature to jazz as musicians work together and contribute to a performance, even when there is a strong leader in the group.

A jazz performance is a musical discussion, with much exchange of ideas – between the young and old, males and females, and between people of different backgrounds. It is, by its nature, inclusive.

The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education fosters this diversity and inclusion through its variety of programs.


Experience Jazz

…an innovative ensemble experience, connecting students across communities & genres “While rooted in jazz, this program will embrace the power… Read More »


Dakota Combo

Each year offers different opportunities for members of the Dakota Combo, an audition-based group of the region’s top high school… Read More »



The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education works with various agencies and artists to provide, support and promote a wide variety… Read More »


Youth Stages

The Foundation annually funds the Youth Stage at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, held each June in St. Paul. The stage… Read More »



In addition to providing a year of scholarship support to students in the Dakota Combo, The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education… Read More »