The All-Too-Brief History of the International Association for Jazz Education

The International Association for Jazz Education originally started in 1968. Located in Manhattan, Kansas, many believe that it got its start in a smaller area of Kansas. The organization was known by the name of the National Association for Jazz Education and went by the acronym NAJE from 1968 until 1989 when it changed its name officially to the International Association for Jazz Education.

The International Association for Jazz Education or IAJE originally focused their attention on the United States. By the end they had over 8,000 members worldwide and at least 40 countries represented in their ranks. The purpose or mission of the association was to spread the word of jazz through outreach programs. They also focused on educating others about jazz in the hopes of helping the music grow and develop.

The group was entirely voluntary, with members volunteering to hold the more important seats and they were also listed as a non-profit organization. They ran programs throughout the year, which were used as a way to show the history and heritage of jazz, as well as help others learn how to appreciate the music. They also worked with educators by helping them determine the appropriate curriculum and setup performances in their school.

The International Association for Jazz Education also worked with students interested in jazz music and artists working in the jazz genre. They provided information and helped those interested in a number of ways. They also gave those interested the appropriate resources when needed. Every year in January they held their annual conference, which was known throughout the world. This conference used performances and workshops as a way of helping spread the word of jazz music.

Organizations similar to the IAJE include:


The IAJE no longer exists, but the above organizations work on the same goals that they once had. The National Association for Music Education also works with educators, students and artists, but on all types of music and not just one specific genre. The closing of the organization came as a shock to many.

On January 9, 2008 the IAJE held their 35th annual conference, which took place in Toronto, Canada. The conference was a huge success and members looked forward to the next event. Instead the IAJE shut down on April 18 of that same year. They closed their office and announced that they were filing for bankruptcy. Not long after, they filed Chapter 7 and announced that all upcoming events were gone from the schedule. As of March 15, 2009 the organization no longer exists. Former members claimed that the organization lost money on their last conference and were no longer receiving donations, which led to the closing. There are still many who miss the organization today.