5 Year Gift from Philanthropists Sasha & Ed Bass to support Expansion of Flagship All-Scholarship JAS Academy


AUGUST 4 – 18, 2019

Student Applications Being Accepted Now

The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) have joined forces to significantly enhance and grow the all-scholarship JAS Academy to create the JAS Academy presented by Jazz Aspen Snowmass in collaboration with Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

Plans were officially launched during the Academy this past summer with Frost School of Music Dean Shelly Berg and JAS President and CEO Jim Horowitz.  The JAS Academy Artistic Director for over ten years, Christian McBride will work in tandem with FSOM’s Dean Berg and newly-appointed JAS Academy Program Director Chuck Bergeron of the Frost faculty. In addition to performing in big band and small combo settings JAS Academy students will receive artistic and business master classes with guest artists and guest faculty, entrepreneurship and audience engagement training.

In commenting Frost School of Music Dean, Shelly G. Berg stated: “For almost three decades Jazz Aspen Snowmass has been a great presenter of concerts and educational programs. The JAS Academy will incorporate the Frost School’s innovative teaching and educational strategies, and serve as a boot camp to launch the career of the world’s most talented emerging jazz artists.”

In commenting JAS President and CEO Jim Horowitz stated: “This collaboration between an acclaimed University education program and an internationally recognized presenter of world-class artists both iconic and emerging is a dream come true for the family of JAS. The newly formatted JAS Academy is a game changer that will spur a new era of growth and permanence for JAS. The Bass’ Pace Setting Gift adds great momentum as JAS builds up to its 30th Anniversary season in 2020 and continues planning for its new home in the core, The JAS Center at the Red Onion.”

Artistic Director Christian McBride stated: “It is a very exciting time in the world of jazz as evidenced by the joining of forces of two powerhouses to create the JAS Academy.  As the Artistic Director, I am thrilled to be at the center of this partnership and look forward to the wealth of possibilities this new association brings to further jazz music education and the promising future for so many talented and aspiring young musicians.”

Philanthropists Sasha and Ed Bass have pledged to underwrite the operating budget of the JAS Academy for the first five (5) years. “The JAS Academy will bring together two of our passions – jazz and education – in the inspiring town of Aspen, where the Arts are in full bloom all summer long,” says Sasha Bass. “We have tremendous confidence in both organizations,” adds Ed Bass, “and we believe the stellar young pros that come out of this program will impact the world of jazz immeasurably.”

The JAS Academy will take place August 4 – 18, 2019 and will reside at the Gant Condominium Campus in Aspen while plans progress for the JAS Center. Befittingly, at the heart of the JAS Center that would establish a permanent home for JAS and the JAS Academy in Aspen’s core, is the historic Red Onion building which hosted performances by such iconic jazz artists as Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson in the 1950’s. The JAS Academy expands to two weeks (from the current one week), with 23 student artists of the highest caliber who will be selected via an intensive application process to receive full scholarships.  The JAS Academy will incorporate many of the teachings of the Frost School of Music whose mission is to provide musicians with the artistic, technological and entrepreneurial skills to thrive in the 21st century.  The application process officially began on January 15, and the admission deadline is March 15, 2019.

At last summer’s JAS Academy, Frost School of Music’s Dean Shelly Berg and Associate Professor of Strategic Initiatives and Innovation Rey Sanchez were in attendance and conducted master classes with the student artists.  “The caliber of college-aged young musicians participating is as high as it gets,” states Dean Berg.  “They are hungry for this kind of information and instruction and we are thrilled to be joining forces with JAS to create this extraordinary opportunity.”

About Frost School of Music

The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is one of the largest and most highly acclaimed music schools located in a private university in the U.S., and one of the most comprehensive and relevant in all of higher education. With over 700 students and 100 faculty members, it is a top choice for instrumental, keyboard and vocal performance as well as composition, music business, music education, music engineering technology, music therapy, songwriting, jazz, studio music, and more. It is one of two schools created in 1926 when the University of Miami was founded. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost in 2003 was a historic occasion. The Frost School of Music seeks to transform lives through the study and performance of music, and to enhance music’s future as the result of the most innovative and relevant curricula in higher education. Learn more here.