Jazz Links Jazz Ambassadors

About the Ensemble

The Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Jazz Ambassadors gives Chicago’s most promising young musicians a chance to get serious about jazz.


The Jazz Ambassadors program develops student musicians in grades 6 through 12 by providing hands-on weekly training, access to free live jazz performances, monthly workshops and masterclasses, and frequent opportunities to work with guest artists and clinicians.


New for the 2017/18 program!


The Jazz Ambassadors will have both an Elementary Jazz Ensemble open to students in grades 6-8, as well as two Jazz Combos open to students in grades 9-12. Students wishing to audition for either component should click the respective links below for more information about the auditions and to complete their application.



Auditions for the 2017-18 Jazz Ambassadors Elementary Ensemble have been extended to Saturday, October 28th and Saturday, November 4thThis extension does not apply to the High School Ensemble. The additional auditions will still take place at the Columbia College Music Center (1014 S Michigan Ave, 4th Floor) from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on October 28.  On November 4 auditions will take place at 11:00 am at the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 500.  All Chicago-area students in grades 6-8 are invited to audition for the Elementary Ensemble. Follow the links below for audition guidelines and materials.


Click Here to Complete the Elementary Application


Click Here to Download the Elementary Audition Packet



Additional opportunities


Jazz Ambassadors also have the opportunity to participate in the Jazz Links Student Council program, which meets once a month on Friday evenings. Council members will learn about music business, professionalism, and the qualities of a successful leader in the music world.  Student Council meetings include a pizza party for students.


Program tuition and fees


The Jazz Institute of Chicago is proud to provide all of our Jazz Ambassadors with a full tuition waiver – a $500 value – to participate in the program.  This means it is absolutely FREE for students to join!




Jazz Ambassadors meet Saturday afternoons at Columbia College’s Music Building (1014 S Michigan Avenue).


The Elementary Ensemble meets from 11:30-2:30 p.m.


The High School Combos meet from 2:00-4:00 p.m.



Mark Coulter, co-director elementary jazz ensemble

Shemeka Nash – co-director elementary jazz ensemble

John Foster, director high school jazz combo & Jazz Links Student Council Coordinator

Michael Nearpass, director high school jazz combo

Diane Chandler-Marshall, Education programs director


Upcoming Jazz Links Jazz Ambassadors Events

See All Scheduled Events

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