Valley Jazz Institute

The Valley Jazz Institute is a fully immersive jazz education program, teaching confidence and creativity through jazz education and providing exciting on-stage experiences for our students of all ages. Valley Jazz Institute programs provide annual jazz education scholarships, awards, and live performance opportunities for students and other young people in Fond du Lac, the Fox Valley and surrounding communities. The Valley Jazz Institute programs encourage both school participation and practice at home. We provide parents and guardians with a partner to support their child’s overall development through an understanding of musical performance, theory, and discipline – all while facilitating the sharing of quality time together. 

Every parent wants to help their child learn, grow with confidence, and be successful in life. Our vision is to provide each student with the very best support network for outstanding personal growth; to bring students, families, and entire communities closer together through a jazz education grounded in empowering real life experiences. 

We’re committed to giving our students a first class jazz education that teaches more than technical skills – we’re teaching valuable skills for life. Our teachers are mentors – professional musicians who are passionate about what they do, and committed to sharing their experience with eager, young musicians. Together, we’re dedicated to building a jazz community where our students create relationships with one another and develop real confidence in themselves.

The Valley Jazz Institute’s flagship program is “Students’ Jam!”  – a jazz JAM SESSION geared towards the opportunity of sharing musical ideas in a real world performance situation. Area high school players, as well as other local musicians of all ages, are invited to join the members of the WAMI award winning Jazz Orgy (all educators as well as players) and noted jazz educator/performer Brad Curran in the Fountain City Jazz and Dance Club for an authentic jazz jam session. The creativity begins at 6:30pm, to encourage participation by school age musicians. The sessions continue until 9:00pm to allow for additional participants. Come out, bring an instrument to “jam” or just listen, support and experience spontaneous composition – jazz education before your eyes.

The Valley Jazz Institute operates according to these key principles:


The key to real learning is the desire to participate, and having a great time while doing it.


A musical and creative education is crucial to the development and nurturing of important life skills. We teach concrete musical and life skills that empower our student musicians.


Our instructors are real-world professional  musicians  and mentors to their students. They model our values through the actions they take and the experiences they share.


We focus on community-building to provide a strong support base for each student, and an experience that is both fully engaging and rewarding.


Students learn to lead in a teacher guided environment that builds trust and confidence.


Each student has control over their own musical experience and destiny.