Welcome to The Coastal Jazz Association!

What is the Coastal Jazz Association?

The Coastal Jazz Association, a grassroots non-profit organization was formed in 1981 to help Jazz thrive in Savannah, Georgia and the Coastal Empire by sponsoring live performances, encouraging Jazz education through scholarships, and by the camaraderie of others with shared interests. CJA is responsible for the annual Savannah Jazz Festival, the Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame, and provides assistance to jazz artists in need.

The Coastal Jazz Association has been proudly promoting and supporting jazz music and musicians through an all-volunteer non-profit organization, fostering and bringing world-class jazz music to Savannah.

The Savannah Jazz Festival — The Lowcountry’s Only Free Music Festival, Uniting all Cultures for 36 Years!

Produced and orchestrated by the Coastal Jazz Association for 36 years, the Savannah Jazz Festival is sponsored in part by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs — a free week-long program taking place in venues throughout the city, culminating in three days in Forsyth Park, and traditional ‘after-hours’ jam sessions around town.

Coastal Jazz Association is committed to perpetuating Jazz in the Lowcountry by:

Offering free, world-class concerts once a month for CJA members.

Producing Savannah’s ONLY free week-long jazz festival every September, bringing award-winning musical acts to Savannah for the community enjoyment.

Offering performance opportunities for local, regional, national and international Jazz musicians.

Providing a venue for big band concerts.

Nurturing the next generation of Jazz musicians and enthusiasts by active educational and live performance programs.

Publishing the monthly jazz newsletter ‘Noteworthy’ which includes local, regional and national jazz news.

Broadcasting a weekly jazz radio program on WHCJ 90.3 FM to showcase the various jazz artists and styles of jazz.

Networking with other cultural arts organizations to expose larger numbers of people to jazz music of various styles.

America’s indigenous art form of jazz music is like no other.  It has been uniting all races, all cultures, and all creeds since its dawn in the late nineteenth century. The unification of cultures through jazz music is the root of the Coastal Jazz Association’s mission.

Read “United We Jazz” by Paula Fogarty

Jazz greats have been nurtured in Savannah since its inception at the turn of the nineteenth century including Louis Armstrong’s mentor, Joe “King” Oliver, Johnny Mercer, Jabbo Smith, Ben Tucker, Ken Palmer, Huxsie Scott, Irene Reid, Willie Draper, Teddy Adams, and many others.  Savannah’s jazz scene has been perpetuated by the Coastal Jazz Association since its inception, providing scholarships to the next generation of jazz musicians and in the form of monthly concerts for the community and our signature event, The Savannah Jazz Festival, which is the Lowcountry’s only week-long entirely free festival, in the spirit of uniting all cultures through jazz music.