Founded in 2003, Friends of Jazz at UCLA (FOJ) is a non-profit organization that seeks to raise the awareness of jazz as a unique American art form. FOJ resides at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and partners with other groups to enhance the study of jazz. Our mission is to provide financial support and other resources to advance the study of jazz and to enhance the The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA Kenny Burrell Archive of African American Music.

 

At A Glance: Jazz at UCLA

1937
Two undergraduates invite Duke Ellington to perform at Royce Hall. The four-hour appearance is Ellington’s first concert performance in America.

1944, SEPTEMBER 14-17
The Institute on Music in Contemporary Life, sponsored by the Department of Music in collaboration with The Musicians Congress, includes a panel on jazz, swing, and the popular song, with Artie Shaw, Calvin Jackson, and James Van Heusen.

1946, APRIL 12
Benny Carter performs in a concert at UCLA to mark the first anniversary of FDR’s death.

1963
Benny Carter is among the musicians who participate in a special series of weekly lectures on the recording arts at UCLA.

1969, APRIL 5
Benny Carter conducts and solos with a large orchestra and choir in his own extended composition with lyrics in honor of the late Martin Luther King, Jr., at Pauley Pavilion, UCLA.

1969, NOVEMBER 22
Gary Gray directs An Evening of Jazz, with the UCLA Jazz Quartet, as part of a program of Music in the Rotunda at Powell Library.

1970
Gary Gray’s informal quartet has grown to Big Band size.

1971
The Jazz Ensemble becomes an official part of the curriculum in the Music Department.

1976
The Center for Afro-American Studies asks Kenny Burrell to teach a course on jazz.

1978
Ellingtonia—the first college-level course on the work of Duke Ellington—is taught at UCLA for the first time.

1987
Gordon Henderson becomes leader of the Jazz Ensemble.

1996
Jazz Studies becomes a concentration within the Departments of Music and Ethnomusicology.

2002
Jazz Studies is a single concentration on the Department of Ethnomusicology.  

2003
The Kenny Burrell Archive is established as a part of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies.

2004
The Friends of Jazz Organization was created for the purpose of fundraising to provide financial support and other resources to advance the study of jazz at UCLA.

2005
Kenny Burrell named 2005 Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts.

2006
Gerald Wilson receives 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-Senate Faculty.

2008
James Newton (Professor, 2006) is hired by the Department of Ethnomusicology to teach jazz history and composition.

2010
Kenny Burrell honored at "Grammy Salute to Jazz" (January 26, 2010).

2011
Los Angeles Jazz Unlimited Orchestra is cofounded by Kenny Burrell.

2012
Thelonious Monk Institute comes to UCLA.

2013
Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter become faculty in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

2015
Jazz Composers' Orchestra Institute Summer Intensive at UCLA, James Newton, lead organizer (July 8-13, 2015)

2016
The UC Regents vote to formally establish the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music (January 21, 2016). This is the first school of music in the UC system.
Twentieth anniversary of the jazz studies concentration at UCLA (Fall, 2016).