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: VJC programs are returning to in-person instruction this fall. Learn more by reading the Program Status section below.

Explore your gifts. Find your passion.
Program Status

The Valley Jazz Cooperative will be returning as an in-person educational program (for students in grades 8 through 12) this fall! It will take up residence in the new Ravenscroft facility in Scottsdale, just in time to relaunch in August/

September. We look forward to seeing you then!

Upcoming Auditions

We currently plan to hold auditions during the latter half of August, and begin all in-person instruction shortly after Labor Day. ALSO, the big band program will begin in early December (following its own auditions in late November). Check back in early July for more specific info!

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