Imagine a youth performing-arts center in the Rainier Valley, near the historical heart of jazz in Seattle, where young people are respected, supported, and inspired to realize the full potential of their unique gifts.


Seattle JazzED is growing exponentially.  In just eight years, we’ve grown from serving 56 young musicians to more than 900, and we know there are 2,000 more students we could serve.  

Jazz, an essential part of America’s DNA, makes a perfect vehicle for teaching life skills like teamwork, accountability, and confidence. Through jazz, students find their voice—whether or not they become professional musicians. 

We want this opportunity for every Seattle student, but lack of space holds us back. Transportation is a problem for our low-income students as more and more of our families are priced out of Seattle.

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As if a new JazzED home in the heart of the city weren't enough...we have even bigger plans! In our desire to serve all families in a city growing less and less affordable, we are thrilled to be partnering with  Capitol Hill Housing.


CHH will jointly develop this property with us, building approximately 100 new affordable homes above JazzED’s ground-level performing arts center and music school. CHH will take responsibility for funding the housing, while JazzED raises funds for its music facility. When the project is complete, each entity will own and manage its own section of the building. 

Our reasoning? We don't just serve music students—we serve their families, our communities, our city. We think the best way to do that is to do what we can to keep Seattle accessible to everyone. 

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  • A youth performing arts facility for the entire Seattle area: A place of access, inclusion, and belonging.

  • An ability to respond to growing demand by adding some 2,000 young people to our community...a 200% increase!

  • Enough space for our current lineup of programs, along with new educational opportunities (full choral program, drum line) and wrap-around services (tutoring, after-school and summer care programs).

  • Appropriate conditions to store our sizable instrument library, putting high-quality instruments in kids' hands year-round.

  • Improved access, near light-rail and transit stops for easier transportation.

  • A location amid social justice enterprises and next door to two progressive schools.

  • The ongoing stability of a permanent home, dedicated to the needs of our students, with rehearsal space and an acoustically precise performance hall.

  • A more holistic and networked approach to support the overall health and success of our youth and families.

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Project Site - 2101 22nd Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98144

In January of 2017, JazzED was presented with an exciting opportunity to purchase a parcel of land in the Rainier Valley from two like-minded institutions (Lake Washington Girls Middle School and Giddens School) who are building a joint facility on the parcel next to ours.  This parcel is located near Seattle's historic Jackson Street Jazz scene and perfectly situated in a neighborhood with many social justice and arts enterprises, as well as excellent transportation access

New Site Neighbors

  • Northwest African American Museum

  • Hamlin Robinson School

  • Seattle Children's Playground

  • Wellspring Family Services

  • The Lighthouse for the Blind

  • Treehouse

  • ROCKit Community Arts

  • El Centro De La Raza

  • Rainier Valley Boys & Girls Club

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Preliminary concept envisions $10 million, which includes land acquisition, building costs, operating reserve, and maintenance reserve.

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Development Partner: Capitol Hill Housing. Since 1976, they have served low- and moderate-income residents and have worked to improve neighborhoods for all.

Architect:  Weinstein A+U: Sample projects include Woodland Park Zoo, Wellspring Family Services, Boys & Girls Club, Seattle Center Skate Park.

Fundraising Consultant: Main Consulting, LLC.  More than 20 years’ experience working on capital campaigns ranging from $5M to $75M. 

Facilities Committee: Kim Clements, Shirish Mulherkar, Greg Murray, Marty Pompermayer

Feasibility Study Task Force: Kim Clements, Phil Davis, Mike Halperin, Barb Herrington, Mary Ellen Hudgins, Shirish Mulherkar, David Zapolsky

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Clarence Acox, Jr., Co-founder Seattle JazzED, nationally-acclaimed Jazz educator
Matt Cameron, Drummer for Pearl Jam and Soundgarden
Bill Frisell, Guitarist, composer and arranger
John Gilbreath, Executive Director, Earshot Jazz
Nancy Guppy, Seattle comedian and television personality
Wayne Horvitz, Composer, keyboardist and record producer
Tim Lennon, Executive Director, LANGSTON
Tom Mara, Executive Director, KEXP
Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center
Allison Miller, New York City-based drummer, composer, and teacher
The Westerlies, New York City-based brass quartet

Press Release: 8/14/18 - Seattle JazzED and Capitol Hill Housing Land Purchase

Media Contact:
Laurie de Koch, Seattle JazzED Executive Director