Back to the top



building a community

Jones sees another potential purpose for the Collective: to give back to the community through the school system. “I don’t believe in just playing. We’ve got to teach these kids. And so once we get a large enough book, we want to write a curriculum around the tunes that we play so that we can go in, give them the tunes, show them how to play the tunes, and then when they come sit in, they’re playing all of that. That does a few things. It teaches our students how to play, it creates a scene, and everybody knows the tunes. The audience knows the tunes, the kids know the tunes, the band members know the tunes—it’s for the city. It’s intergenerational, it’s about the community. And it’s exciting. Because that’s what jazz is! It’s community.”


A New Bloom Of Jazz In Charm City

The city has recently seen a resurgence, and jazz is one notable part of that story. That’s what we’ll focus on this episode of Jazz Night in America, featuring music from the Baltimore Jazz Collective — founded by trumpeter Sean Jones, who now leads the jazz program at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. We’ll hear the band at Keystone Korner Baltimore, which opened last spring and became the city’s first major jazz club in ages.


Charm City’s swing renaissance

It might be better known for high-profile dream pop, hip hop and its namesake club music, but make no mistake: Baltimore is a jazz city.

Monuments and buildings remind residents of hometown heroes and genre pioneers Billie HolidayCab and Blanche CallowayEubie Blake and Chick Webb. The state-designated Black Arts and Entertainment District brings new energy to West Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Avenue, a bustling African-American commercial corridor where Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong headlined the Royal Theatre during the mid-20th century. The underrated late singer Ethel Ennis, Baltimore’s own “First Lady of Jazz,” opened Ethel’s Place and brought jazz to downtown Baltimore during the 1980s.