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Championing young jazz musicians and inspiring the next generation


The Cambridge Jazz Festival is a not-for-profit community interest organisation and there would be no festival without the generous support of our funders, sponsors, partners, friends, family and volunteers.  In order to sustain our projects with children and young people we really need your support.


Transforming Lives

In addition to bringing some of finest UK jazz musicians in the UK, the Festival also aims is to support and help inspire the next generation of jazz musicians and to help raise awareness into the benefits of music and music therapy in our community.

Educational Programme

In partnership with Council music hub, Cambridgeshire Music, Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and the University of Cambridge, the Cambridge Jazz Festival has an all year educational programme to support the teaching of jazz and improvisation to young people and schools and to provide both workshops from leading jazz educationalists/musicians and performance opportunities at the Festival and all year round:

Schools Big Band Concert & Workshop

Cambridgeshire Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO) 


Outside the Festival, schools in Cambridgeshire are invited to enrol onto the Festival’s Creative Ensemble and Improvisation Curriculum, which has been written to help enable jazz and other contemporary creative music styles to be taught in schools through ensemble-based learning. The resources provided are designed to allow teachers with little experience of these styles to effectively teach the skills required whilst also allowing more experienced teachers the flexibility to adapt and also teach their own material through the framework.

Artist Development Programme

The Festival's NextGenJazz project aims to champion, support and show-case some of the most talented and boundary pushing rising young stars in the UK jazz scene to inspire the next generation through live performances and workshops.

The Festival recognises that investment in artists is key to a sustainable jazz & improvisational arts sector, whether it be by developing initiatives that profile their work, providing performance and educational opportunities for them or in developing the right environment for artists to thrive in.


The project provides a platform for showcasing new or local acts as it can be very challenging for them to break through and connect with audiences, especially outside of London. By helping to provide more exposure and promotional material, the Festival aims to support young musicians early in their career. Many younger music fans are also often unaware of the wealth of talented young jazz players moving this exciting and diverse genre forward and see jazz as something belonging to an older generation. 


Some of the featured artists will also lead a workshop at one of the schools, colleges or universities across the city, giving our young musicians an opportunity to gain experience in jazz and improvisation. 

In partnership with local educators, promoters and festivals in Cambridge, the project will develop links between the many different participants in the local scene to support and nurture young jazz musicians and to ensure the continuation of the music that we all love into the Next Generation.

Music Therapy

In collaboration with Prof. Helen Odell-Miller OBE (Anglia Ruskin University Music Therapy Dept.), the Festival provides a Tansforming Lives series of talks on how music & music therapy can transform lives and help raise awareness on the importance and positive impact of music/music therapy in the community: talks covering areas such as music and education, learning difficulties, autism and dementia, and careers in music therapy.

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