Through its various programs throughout Phoenix and online, the Valley Jazz Cooperative provides music students a uniquely valuable educational experience, combining:


  • jazz combo and big band performance opportunities, with 

  • instruction in jazz history, improvisation, and theory.


Additionally, the VJC has programs that offer instrument rental assistance to qualified new music students and college scholarship opportunities for VJC alums. And there are other resources, such as free educational downloads, a YouTube channel with performances and tutorials, the VJC Facebook page with extensive photo galleries, the VJC Q&T podcast, and an online store offering apparel, music publications, and recordings.

UPDATE: While the East and West VJC programs will not be moving forward in person during the pandemic, there are many VJC Online offerings to choose from. To explore all the options, please click here.

Explore your gifts. Find your passion.
Upcoming Events

VJC Online Guest Artist Clinic (learn more HERE)

• Sat., 05/15/2021 @ 1:00 p.m. (AZ local time)

Tito Carrillo (jazz trumpeter/University of Illinois faculty) explores these topics: Develop Your Ear in Jazz with the KISRI Method and The Keys to Playing Melodic Solos: Phrasing and Space.

Upcoming Auditions

There are no auditions scheduled at this time. If VJC activities are able to resume in person in late spring 2021, information about ensemble auditions will be provided here. Also, please check with VJC Director Russell Schmidt if you have interest in exploring private lessons.

VJC on Facebook
VJC Q&T Podcast

A Statement from Russell Schmidt, Director

As one who truly loves teaching, I feel privileged to serve young people, offering them guidance and instruction as they develop their limitless potential as creative artists in the Valley Jazz Cooperative. As I noted when we first launched the VJC, the word “cooperative” was chosen with great intent, after much deliberation. One of our foundational goals is to serve young people in ways that support the outstanding instruction already being offered in so many different corners of Phoenix. We are grateful for the collaborative support of band directors, private music instructors, and (of course) parents, for helping us build a musical and educational community in the VJC that will provide a positive impact in the lives of these students for years to come.


I am deeply grateful to my Music Serving the Word family for their faith in the VJC. This wonderfully vibrant educational initiative would not exist without MSW support. And I am thankful to Paul Brewer (MCC) and Dave Schmidt (GCC) for their partnership in hosting the initial VJC programs. Their support has allowed the VJC to grow exponentially in a very short time.


Finally, to prospective students, I want you to know the VJC is an exceptional place to explore your gifts and find your passion. We hope you will come join us online for now and back in person when the time is right!


Russell Schmidt — ​Director, Valley Jazz Cooperative


© 2021 by Valley Jazz Cooperative
The Valley Jazz Cooperative is an outreach of
MSWMinistries, a 501(c)(3) organization