The ColaJazz Foundation is dedicated to bringing people together. We are an organization that celebrates the unique music created by Africans and black Americans who, out of a terrible darkness, gave us one of the brightest cultural lights the world has ever seen, jazz. Jazz continues to be a living statement of democracy in action. The language of jazz is a language of equality, communication, valuing individuality, celebrating differences, taking time to understand unique and complex experiences, empathy, doing what’s right, and thoughtfully responding with soul.

From our statement of cultural equity… In the United States, there are systems of power that grant privilege and access unequally such that inequity and injustice result, and that must be continuously addressed and changed. We must all hold ourselves accountable, because acknowledging and challenging those inequities while working in partnership is how we will make change happen. Everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, which is essential to a healthy and democratic society.

Jazz at Lincoln Center summarizes it best. “Because jazz is improvisational, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression. Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others. Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism.”