Since Jazz at Lincoln Center’s (JALC) inception in 1987, when Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts initiated a three-performance summertime series called “Classical Jazz,” the organization has been steadfast in its commitment to broadening and deepening the public’s awareness of, and participation in, jazz. In 1996, JALC became an independent nonprofit organization, establishing a prominent place for jazz alongside the opera, ballet, symphony, and other fine arts at Lincoln Center. In subsequent years, the organization has evolved into a multi-dimensional cultural institution offering year-round public programming. In 2004, JALC further underscored the role of jazz in American culture with the opening of Frederick P. Rose Hall, the world’s first performing arts center designed for the unique acoustics and attributes of jazz. Today, JALC is the leading jazz organization in the world in terms of size and mission and, although the newest constituent of Lincoln Center, an integral part of the world’s foremost performing arts center.
The mission of JALC is to advance the appreciation and understanding of jazz through performance, education, and preservation activities and to ensure a vibrant future for the art form by developing and expanding its audience. JALC does this through its concert programming, international touring of the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, extensive educational programs that serve students from birth through adulthood, and broadcasts and recordings.
JALC’s programming, including concerts and educational/community outreach programs, is designed to provide a broad public with inspiring and accessible arts experiences. JALC produces 450 concerts year-round in its home at Frederick P. Rose Hall, which are attended by more than 180,000 people from the metropolitan area and around the world. JALC also invests $2.5 million in its education programs, a large portion of which is directed to underserved communities. Such initiatives include: free WeBop classes through a Head Start Program in Washington Heights; in-depth music instruction to economically disadvantaged students through the Middle School Jazz Academy; heavily subsidized tickets for Jazz for Young People Concerts; and the Essentially Ellington Community Outreach and Diversity Initiative. Through a number of marketing initiatives - $10 Hot Seats, Hang Set discounted subscriptions to individuals 40 and under, and Rush Tickets for students and seniors - JALC makes its programs available to diverse audiences.