ABOUT BLUE JAY JAZZ
The Blue Jay Jazz Foundation (BJJF), which produces the annual Blue Jay Jazz Festival, is a nonprofit 501c3 organization founded in 2007. Its mission is to support music education in the San Bernardino Mountain communities and, while nurturing new generations of musicians, build interest and expand audiences for jazz as both art and entertainment. With steady support from individuals and businesses in its community, it maintains several year-round programs, including the 'Adopt an Instrument' lending program that accepts donated musical instruments, refurbishes them if necessary, and provides them free to local students. The Foundation is managed by a volunteer board of directors. For more information visit Blue Jay Jazz Foundation.
The first Blue Jay Jazz Festival, was held in the summer of 1991, in Blue Jay, California, as the Summer Jazz Celebration. It was presented by the Blue Jay Business Association and the Arrowhead Arts Association. Entirely supported by donations, grant funding and merchant sponsorship, it offered free concerts on four Thursday nights in August.
On April 17 of that year, the first paid-admission jazz concert was held, headlined by members of the NBC Tonight Show Orchestra, conducted by Tommy Newsom and featuring Conte Candoli, Snooky Young, Ross Tompins and Ed Shaugnessy.
Two years later, in 1993, the Lighthouse Jazz All Stars Reunion was produced as a concert tribute to Howard Rumsey. Performers that year included Shorty Rogers, Bud Shanks, Conte Candoli and Bill Perkins.
Since that time the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation has presented outstanding jazz performances each July and/or August. Popular artists continue to entertain the community with traditional, modern and contemporary jazz. Among the many unforgettable groups to appear are Poncho Sanchez, Jack Sheldon, Kilauea, Gregg Karukas and Kenny Burrell.