President’s Message

A VELOCITY OF CELEBRATION

New Years 2024

Our sincere thanks to everyone in our Jazz community for making 2023 an exceptional year of opportunity and success. Our collective generosity and creative energy is something to celebrate! 

Starting with our spring ‘Give To the Music’ fundraiser, ‘Instrument Petting Zoo,  ‘Inspire a Musician’ equipment lending program, music excellence scholarships, aspiring artist live performance opportunities, free student concerts, and ending with our sold out Blue Jay Jazz Festival, thanks to you, 2023 was a banner year.

With your help, the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation opened avenues for five “Future Generation Scholars” to perform with two Grammy-award winning jazz artists, live and on-stage during our 2023 Jazz Festival and honored each of these Rim High School students with $1250 scholarships to support their studies.

Two of these exceptional musicians; David Anderson and Ara Tokatlian, graduated in June and have begun their separate journeys. David Anderson was accepted into the elite U.S. Marine Corps Musician Enlistment Option Program securing a career as a professional musician in the United States Marine Corps.

Ara Tokatlian will be attending the renowned music program at Riverside City College after gaining some international stage exposure in Argentina following the footsteps of his father, a founding member of the hit group Arco Iris.

As we step into 2024, may we find music’s universal language of harmonies and riffs not only a meditation on American creativity, but a joyous and sublime celebration of future possibilities.

We believe the genius of America is improvisation, our unique experiment a profound intersection of freedom and creativity. Nowhere is this more apparent than in jazz — the only art form created by Americans, an enduring and indelible expression of our inclusive genius and promise.

Blue Jay Jazz remains committed to our mission of championing music for all. On behalf of the Blue Jay Jazz family, we wish each and every one of you the best of health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year. A special thanks to our loyal Jazz fans, sponsors, donors and members of our community.

From all of us at Blue Jay Jazz, Happy New Year!

Stay tuned for our 2024 Blue Jay Jazz Festival:
Thursday-August 22, Friday-August 23 and Saturday-August 24.

Be prepared to be swept away by another year of soul stirring “jasz, jass, and jazz – you won’t want to miss!

Chris Levister
President, Blue Jay Jazz Foundation