Who We Are

Founded in 1972, the New Jersey Jazz Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance, promotion, and preservation of America’s original art form — jazz.

Our Mission

The Society seeks to ensure continuity of the jazz art form through its commitment to nurture and champion young musicians, along with showcasing outstanding national and international artists.

What We Do

Produce Live

We produce live jazz programming — Jersey Jazz LIVE! — and partner with other organizations to promote jazz.

Publish Jersey Jazz Magazine

We publish the digital award-winning magazine, Jersey Jazz, 11 times a year with feature articles, upcoming events, reviews, NJJS specific information; connecting the many facets of New Jersey’s vibrant jazz scene.

Promote Member Musicians

We promote and market NJJS Member Musicians, other jazz musicians, and jazz venues with a bi-monthly “e-Blast” publication.

Our Sponsors

Nan Hughes Poole

The Early Days...

During the early 1970s, New Jersey jazz fans would gather at the Chester Inn to hear Chuck Slates Traditional Jazz Band or at the Hillside Lounge (also in Chester) to see cornetist Wild Bill Davison, or alto saxophonist Rudy Powell, or guitarist Al Casey. In fact, The New York TimesJohn S. Wilson, having visited those venues in 1972, wrote, If there is such a thing as a jazz centerin New Jersey, it must be here.”

Slate, Wilson wrote, is the founding father of both jazz rooms.” While Slate was the musical inspiration for the New Jersey Jazz Society, the organization was actually founded by Bill Cleland and Jack Stine. Warren Vache, Sr., who became Editor of Jersey Jazz, after the Society was created in 1972, wrote that, Bill Cleland and his wife Dorothy were devoted jazz fans and constant boosters of the Chuck Slate band. It was Bill who got together with Jack Stine with the idea of molding the hard core of the bands fans into the nucleus of a jazz society.”

If not for Jack Stines leadership, the New Jersey Jazz Society would probably not have been created. Despite the fact that Stine wasnt a musician, veteran cornetist Ed Polcer would refer to him as The Bandleader.” “We were a happy bunch of souls with one thought in mind,” Polcer told Jersey Jazz Magazine shortly after Stines death in June 2018. There were doctors, teachers, lawyers, an ice cream truck route man, mechanical engineer, and a liquor store owner.” It was the liquor store owner, Stine, who molded the group into an organization to promote live jazz.

The New Jersey Jazz Society was organized in October 1972. According to a December 1, 1974, article by The New York TimesRay Warner, the NJJS members would turn up to hear pianist Jimmy Andrews at OConnors Beef and Ale House in Watchung, or Chuck Slate at the Widow Browns in Madison, or perhaps Bucky Pizzarelli on Monday (guitar night) at Gullivers in West Paterson. These are among the half dozen or so Jersey places regularly presenting small jazz groups these days.”


NJJS is committed to making America’s great art form, jazz, accessible to all people. We strive to ensure that all aspects of our programs and services are accessible and barrier free. Upon advance request, appropriate accommodation will be provided to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in all New Jersey Jazz Society services, programs and activities. All venues are wheelchair accessible. Audio-assist devices are available upon request.

To request audio devices, or if you need special assistance, please contact NJJS’s ADA Coordinator, James Pansulla. Please allow two weeks notice.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

NJJS strives to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization for all.

“There is so much spirit of integration and democracy in jazz.” — Wynton Marsalis

Tax Exemption

The New Jersey Jazz Society is a qualified organization of the New Jersey Cultural Trust, and is qualified as a tax-exempt cultural organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to NJJS are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Photo Credits

Become A Member – Bill Crow / John Hester
Connect – Sarah Vaughan / from the William J. Gottlieb Collection
Contact Us – Regina Carter / Courtesy of NJPAC
Donate – Rufus Reid / Christopher Drukker
Get Involved – Lucy Yeghiazaryn / Diane Smithers
Magazine – Catherine Russell / Mitchell Seidel
Meet The Team – John & Bucky Pizzarelli / Jack Grassa
Member Musicians – Don Braden / Jack Grassa
Membership – Aaron Diehl / Carolo Pascale
Notes – Lucia Gutierrez Robolloso / Shakiru Bola Iloya
Scholarship Competition – Derick Campos / John Hester
Shop – Houston Person / John Hester
Who We Are – David Oswald’s Hot Four / Mitchell Seidel

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