Update 9 April

We continue to follow the Washington state Stay Home guidelines. It is a challenge to stay connected, but that’s one thing that will help us get through this! Stay in touch with each other. Jazz Center is excited to be staying in touch, and collaborating with other local arts organizations as we champion the arts during this time of staying apart. We’ll be airing recorded concerts on Wednesday nights and jazz educational videos on Mondays on the new Whatcom Arts Project facebook page. Check it out!

Update 3/29.

The Jazz Center is a proud participant in the newly formed Whatcom Arts Project, a group of community arts nonprofits. The goal of the Whatcom Arts Project is to reach our community during this time of need to provide hope, entertainment, learning opportunities, and a sense of community. To learn more about the Whatcom Arts Project and home friendly activities in our area, please visit:

Update 3/21

The Jazz Center remains closed until at least April 24th. We are following the Whatcom County and Washington State recommendations and mandates.

Musicians are facing extreme hardship right now as all in-person performances have been cancelled—many artists are hosting online concerts and would love to have virtual visitors!

Update 3/14/2020 regarding COVID-19

Dear Jazz Center Community—

We’re incredibly proud of the place the Jazz Center of Bellingham holds within our community. Because our mission is to enrich and inspire our community through Jazz—a celebration of life, we never like to cancel events, but the health and safety of everyone connected to the Jazz Center is our first concern. We are a part of the larger community, we are all in this together.

And so, based on Governor Inslee’s March 11th emergency proclamation and the March 13th announcement to close all schools across the state through April 24th, and based on recommendations by the Whatcom County Health Department to cancel gatherings of 10 or more people, and based on our concern for the health and safety of all persons connected to the Jazz Center, at this time we are cancelling or rescheduling all performances and events through April 24th.

Wednesday night concets are cancelled; we plan to start up again on April 29th.

Combo classes are cancelled; we anticipate they will start up again on Monday, April 27th.

The Education Program is making plans to offer alternative learning situations. Final plans will be communicated to students and parents via e-mail in the very near future.

We will continue to monitor and follow the recommendations of the Washington State Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, and the Whatcom County Health Department. We will post updates on our website, on facebook and in the e-newsletter.

As events everywhere are being cancelled, we are mindful of the hardship imposed on professional musicians whose incomes rely on performing for “large groups”, in other words, all of us. As we cancel these seven concerts, all of those musicians are out of work and our mission includes supporting them.

You members, through your membership payments, have paid to support our efforts to present those musicians. With the situation we find ourselves in, we are asking our members to consider:

  • donating the portion of your membership that would have paid for entrance to these seven cancelled concerts as a donation to the Jazz Center so that we can continue to offer support to the musicians. (Members paid $87.50, general audience would pay $110.00 for these seven shows.) If you choose to do this, we will give you a letter of donation for these seven concerts for your tax purposes.
  • or applying that payment to next season’s membership
  • or if you would like a refund for these seven concerts, please let us know.

This unfortunate public health emergency also affects the Jazz Center’s finances. If you are in a position to do so, please consider making an additional donation to the Jazz Center (online here, or by check to PO Box 312, Bellingham, WA 98227). Your support means everything!

We hope to open our doors again in time for the April 29th show with Miles Black, Roger Yamashita and Christian Casolary! Before then we are working with the Sylvia Center to do a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the Studio Theatre. Thank you for your patience and understanding and, as always, for your ongoing support of the Jazz Center!

Now…go wash your hands and put on some great tunes! We’ll keep in touch!

Jazz Center of Bellingham Board

Our Mission Statement

  • Provide affordable jazz education to aspiring high school musicians (and others), in order to encourage and cultivate not only future jazz artists, but jazz lovers and audience members.
  • Present the best local, regional and national jazz artists.



WJMAC concerts are held at The Sylvia Center for the Arts, 205-207 Prospect St, Bellingham, Washington, 98225.

Combo Classes

Photo by Leon James Photography

At the Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center (WJMAC), students are mentored by professional Northwest jazz musicians and have the opportunity to learn sight reading, soloing and improvising.

After several months in the program, these young musicians are playing and working together at a proficiency commonly achieved at only the college level, giving them a huge head start on their professional careers. Much more than just creating entertainers, this type of study fosters in kids a high level of discipline and creative thinking.

Find out more about WJMAC combo classes >


WJMAC provides some of the best jazz to be heard in the Northwest on a consistent basis. Audiences have enjoyed the music of Emmet Cohen Trio, Bill Anschell, Roy McCurdy, Naomi Moon Siegel, Thomas Marriott, Jacob Zimmerman, Champian Fulton, Cory Weeds, The Small's All Stars, Harold Mabern, Milo Petersen, Jennifer Scott, Gretta Matassa, Kelley Johnson, Jimmy Heath, Saul Cline, Josh Cook, Kareem Kandi, George Colligan, Cole Schuster, Greg Feingold, The Arête Quartet, Adam Thomas, Jillian Lebeck, Mark Taylor, Steve Kaldestad, Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Adderley Band, Kevin Woods, Joe Manis, Marcus Printup, The Joey DeFrancesco Trio, Peter and Will Anderson and The Jeff Hamilton Trio - just to name a few.

View a schedule of upcoming events >

Coming Up...