CCJA provides Colorado youth unique opportunities for the study and performance of jazz, thereby offering them the ability to explore their creativity and voices, both individually and collectively. Under the mentorship of professional jazz musicians, CCJA helps advance and preserve the art form of jazz, and positively impacts the larger community.
Passionate about their vision of creating a unique jazz program for teens, Paul and Chris Romaine founded CCJA in late 1999 as a partnership. Six students registered for the first small group session, where they met weekly during the school year and played and performed in a small jazz group under the guidance of a professional jazz musician mentor. The program continued to grow, and in March of 2003, CCJA became a Colorado Non-profit corporation, and in early 2004 was granted 501 (c)(3) status. The original "Small Group Program" soon expanded to meet in three locations in the Denver Metro area, and there is now an average of 9 youth bands each session, and over 2000 teens have participated in these groups. Along the way, new programming has included summer camps and specialty ensembles, a new youth JazzFest, Outreach Programs to schools, expanded public performances, guided public youth jam sessions, a peer mentoring program, and a Recording and Music Industry Program and recording project, SheBop program for young female musicians, a Vocal jazz program, and KinderBop for pre-school aged kids.
Over the last twenty years, CCJA groups have performed for tens of thousands of people, with the intention of advancing and preserving America's treasured art form of jazz through helping enlighten the public about the scope, history, and future possibilities of jazz. All of our programs are directed by accomplished professional jazz musicians, who continue to pass on their extensive knowledge, experience, and wisdom to the next generation. Whether students go on to play professionally or for enjoyment, their lives are enriched by their participation in CCJA's programs and they develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the art form, most likely carrying this appreciation on into their adult lives.
"Thank you, thank you for making the experinece happen for these kids...You draw a unique group of young people who thrive on making music and living life. As a parent, the expereinces you provide are the opportunities I believe that help create a whole human being." Nancy S.
"I am not so sure there is another key to unlock his spirit in the way that playing does. And he's really blessed, more than he knows at his young age, to have found what he loves and a place and people with whom to live it fully at the outset of life." - Adrienne C.
"It brings people together, it brings together your people, and that's one of the hardest things in life is to find your people." Jean-Luc D.
"This was a bonding experience that was beyond any one of us as individuals. We all had the same sense of wonder at how the music was working itself out. When we were performing, we felt euphoric. That's one of the few cases where euphoric isn't too strong a word." Ben M.
"The meaningful environment at CCJA made a huge impact on me. I likely wouldn't have continued playing if I hadn't become involved with CCJA. Once I arrived on campus, it became apparent to me that, as a CCJA graduate, I had a distinct advantage over other freshman musicians." Kenny W.
"CCJA introduced me to a group of young musicians who were 'on the same wavelength.' You can develop by practicing, but CCJA enabled me to learn how to lock into a rhythm section. CCJA kept the music interesting by supplementing standard material with lesser known work and by encouraging us to create our own arrangements. CCJA also helped us prepare for the rigors of intensive performance." Reade P.
"I can't tell you how much of a difference you are making in young people's lives...I know David has experienced so much that he never would have if not for CCJA and your efforts." Todd R.
"You provided invaluable inspiration and knowledge to me when I studied with you at CCJA, and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it. You were a tremendous positive influence on my life and music." Brandon S.
"My gratitude is abundant. You and Chris are changing our youth. " Peggy B.
"Your organization has truly been life changing for our family, two engineers with no musical talent being trained by the best of the best in jazz through our children. We can't say how much you've influenced our boys." Beth K.
"With CCJA, it's about the kids and the music. CCJA is a fantastic organization. We feel luck our boys have been able to participate it in, and learned the love of music for a lifetime." Nick L.
More testimonials can be seen on this youtube clip of some alumni talking about what CCJA has meant to them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaBRvZ2IQqM