Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation
The Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation (JSJBF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization open to anyone interested in supporting jazz and blues. The foundation’s mission is to preserve, promote, and perpetuate jazz, blues, and other indigenous music forms in New Jersey.
In 1985 a group of musicians, writers, and educators, along with many jazz & blues music fans, produced a music festival at Sandy Hook National Park. Building on the success of that first and several subsequent festivals, while garnering the support of many NJ music fans, the grass-roots group officially became the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation a few years later. The founders of the JSJBF recognized not only an opportunity to provide quality festivals but also the chance to contribute to the NJ community in a larger sense, sharing its passion, knowledge, and organizational skills, as well as the considerable musical talents of its growing membership population. Thirty-five years later, one would be hard-pressed to spend a week in Monmouth and Ocean County without encountering some sort of JSJBF-sponsored musical programming. They continue to produce top-notch festivals annually, present at least three weekly summer concerts, and host a monthly music series at a landmark historic Red Bank building. The Foundation’s efforts are rounded out by fundraisers, holiday parties, veteran programming, jam sessions and more.
Our accomplishments are best described by segmenting the Foundation as follows:
Education/Community Outreach/Youth: Each year, our Foundation offers four budding music students (many who are heading to Berklee College of Music) with a total of $4,000 in scholarships to help make their dreams a reality. Under this banner, we provide additional youth programming through a monthly open mic/jam where musicians under the age of 21 can perform for their peers in a safe and welcoming environment. We have also established new relationships with three local area music schools where we anticipate expanding our efforts. In addition, we have two volunteer educators (a professor at Rutgers University and a former high school teacher) who have written several educational seminars on the roots of jazz and blues and their influence on music and history. We showcase these seminars throughout the year at different venues and look forward to doing so again as COVID guidelines allow.
Band Together for Veterans: Band Together for Veterans raises funds to distribute to veteran agencies and organizations that address the prevention of veteran suicide, homelessness, and treatment of PTSD. Each year, local musicians perform to raise funds, with the proceeds donated to a local program for veterans in Monmouth and Ocean counties to help fund local programs. To date, the program has raised $8,000 for local organizations.
Live Events: The JSJBF maintains an active calendar of live events each year, with the Long Branch Jazz & Blues by the Sea cornerstone event as our largest, free concert. Our free live music events provide entertainment to all who wish to enjoy jazz and blues performances. Our paid performances help to fund the JSJBF, youth scholarships, and donations to local charities such as the 700 pounds of food donated to a local foodbank through our Harpin Help event.