Mission Jazz Seeks to Train Next Generation of Masters

Crowdfunding campaign launched to create a self-sustaining program to train the newest music prodigies in America’s original art form, Jazz


Santa Barbara, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/07/2014 -- A total immersion program for jazz prodigies is the idea behind a new IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, The vision behind Mission Jazz is to create a self-sustaining high-intensity jazz education program for students in undergrad and graduate level music programs.

“When I say total immersion, I mean that. Jazz is the number one subject material, but students accepted to this program will have supporting courses in performance toughness, story-telling, health, social, and financial skills,” said multi-media artist Winnie Swalley. “We aim to teach these young musicians about like as well as the music that fills their souls.”

A suite of musical instructors is on tap and includes Jazz giant Bob Reynolds and Walter Smith III. Other Jazz greats on hand to teach are Luis Conte and Efrain Toro. The students, an octet usually, will be called The Fellowship of the Swing.

“If you know and love jazz, you know the reputation of these men. This level of instruction for young musicians is something only a very few will ever get to experience,” Ms. Swalley said. “As such, we will only take the most promising musicians who will have to audition for Mission Jazz’ program.”

The $150,000 goal of the crowdfunding project is considered seed money and about 21 percent of the expected $700,000 budgeted for the first year of Mission Jazz. Ms. Swalley has plans to make Mission Jazz self-sustaining. Part of her page at IndieGoGo is a five-year budget for the program.

“We plan to generate the rest of the needed funds through advertising and corporate sponsorship,” Ms. Swalley said. “The seed money is important to get us started because many supporters want to see how serious a program is before they commit financial resources.”

Contribution levels start at $50 and offer a Mission Jazz T-shirt as a thank you gift. Other levels are $100, $250, $500 and the top level of $5,000. At that level, the contributor will get plane tickets for two, three nights accommodations with meals and access to master level classes and the Fellowship of the Swing.

“This is beyond a conservatory education experience for the students,” Ms. Swalley said. “It is a life education experience.”

For more information about Mission Jazz and The Fellowship of the Swing, visit