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Upcoming Events

Thu, Apr 17th, @6:00pm - 08:00PM
Blues By Two, downtown Food Co-op

Events Legend

Bellingham Youth Jazz Band PDF Print E-mail

Under the direction of Mark Kelly, The Jazz Project’s Bellingham Youth Jazz Band begins its fourteenth year as a Jazz Project program. The BYJB provides middle school and high school students the opportunity to learn America’s original art form from the masters.  With your support, this program will enhance opportunities for young jazzers and help families foster an awareness and appreciation for jazz.  The BYJB performs concerts throughout Whatcom County each year.  Donations may be made directly to this band on this website. 

The Jazz Project's "Bellingham Youth Jazz Band" was created in 1997 by musician and educator, Mark Kelly, as a feeder program for the local high school jazz bands. The group is currently made up of twenty three 5th - 10th grade students from twelve Whatcom County schools. The BYJB meets Wednesday nights at the Bellingham Senior Activities Center, where rehearsal space for the group is donated by Whatcom County Parks.

The BYJB performs about 40 free community concerts throughout Whatcom County in local parks, theaters, schools, nursing homes, fairs, dances, and jazz festivals.
The BYJB learns and recreates the classic American Jazz repertoire of the 1920's - 1970's using a standard 18 piece big band format. In addition, selected students make up several smaller combos to perform at concerts, and individuals are featured on solos and vocal arrangements.

The Jazz Project charges tuition (currently $140 per trimester) and seeks private and public grants and donations from the community. Fund raising activities by parents and students supplement the annual budget. The Jazz Project (a 501(c)3 non-profit), pays for music, equipment, director salary, scholarships, lessons, clinicians, and all other expenses. All contributions to The Jazz Project are tax-deductible. Contact Jud Sherwood for more information on how you can support the BYJB.

The BYJB plays regularly around Bellingham to a wide range of audiences. Mark Kelly was awarded the Mayor's Arts Award in 2000 and the San Juan Music Educator's 'Friend of Music' award in 2008 for his work with these young musicians, and his band continues to create community connections across several generations with their concerts and swing dances. If you would like the BYJB to play for your event, or know someone who would like to audition for the band, please contact Mark Kelly at 360.676.5750.  Contact the Jazz Project for scholarship information and applications.

BYJB  2013-2014  band will begin rehearsals Wednesday, September 11 at 7PM @ Bellingham Senior Center, and preregistration is recommended before then, see below. Tuition is $140 for the fall, winter and spring sessions, or $50 can be saved by paying $370 for the full year (Sept.-June) up front. Summer tuition is $140, payable in June.  Contact Mark Kelly at 360.676.5750 for pre-registraion or Jud Sherwood at 360.650.1066 for more information about the Jazz Project. Informational fliers are in music stores and band/orchestra rooms throughout Whatcom County in early September for school-year band, and in mid-May for the summer band.


SUN., APRIL 13 @ The Willows Retirement Apartments, private event 
FRI., APRIL 18 @ Bellingham H.S. Swing Dance, open to the public
FRI., MAY 2, 6-8pm @ Downtown Art Walk , then Jazz Festival @ Bellingham H.S. Auditorium; both events open to the public
FRI., MAY 16, 7-8pm @ Bellingham Senior Activities Center, Pizza and Jazz concert , open to the public. 315 Halleck Street 
SAT., MAY 17, 9am-Noon  recording session at Binary Studios, CD release in June!
WED., MAY 21, 7pm joint concert w/Meridian H.S. band, Meridian High School
THURS., MAY 22, 6:30-8 joint concert w/LMS band, choir @ Lynden Pioneer Museum, open to the public. 217 Front Street 
WED., JUNE 4, 7pm @ Fairhaven Middle School band concert, open to the public
THUR., JUNE 5, 6:30pm @ St. Pauls Academy 
FRI., JUNE 6, 7pm @ Birch Bay State Park, Blaine. (parking pass required for vehicles)
SUN., JUNE 8, 5pm @ Private party 
WED., JUNE 11, 7pm @ Whatcom Hills Waldorf School band/choir concert  
THUR., JUNE 12, 6pm @ Geneva Elementary Sock Hop 
WED., JUNE 18, First rehearsal of Summer 2014 band (open to 7-12 grade musicians currently in band, orchestra or choir programs and/or taking weekly lessons); Seven rehearsals and 14 concerts ends in early August. Look for informational fliers mid-May at local music stores, and in Whatcom County public/private school music departments.