Outreach / Workshops


The Victoria Jazz Society prides itself on the development of its extensive Community Outreach Program, which includes:


No longer available. Check back here for future outreach presentations.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing University

In this fun and informal introduction to Jazz will be instructed by Seton Hawkins, Director of Public Programs and Education Resources at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He will guide you through the history and development of various jazz styles. You’ll learn to hear the many details that make this music so endlessly fascinating and fun, and you’ll be introduced to some of Jazz’s most iconic recordings of all time! No prior musical knowledge is required; just bring your ears.

At JALC, Seton oversaw the creation and expansion of the Jazz Academy media library, creating the largest free video library in the world dedicated to jazz pedagogy. He leads the organization’s Swing University teaching initiative, while also hosting all public programs at Jazz at Lincoln Center and giving free pre-concert lectures. In addition, Seton has worked as a producer, manager, publicist, radio DJ, and advocate in Jazz for more than a decade.

The Victoria Jazz Society would like to acknowledge and thank the Lou Williamson Scholarship Fund for sponsoring the Swing University classes.

Lou Williamson Jazz Award


The Lou Williamson Scholarship Fund and Victoria Jazz Society are pleased to announce the Lou Williamson Jazz Award, a $2000 cash award to encourage a talented high school student to continue their music studies in jazz.

Congratulations to the 2020 winner, saxophonist Clay Wilkinson from Oak Bay High School!

Clay Wilkinson receives the Lou Williamson Jazz Award.

Pictured (left to right) Darryl Mar, Clay Wilkinson, Chris Millington

 Learn more

Jazz In The Schools

Jazz In The Schools is a community outreach and education program that takes place during the society’s Fall/Winter/Spring Concert Presentation Series. This program, originally started in 2009, enhances the music education of Greater Victoria high school students and extends the VJS’s community outreach programming beyond what is mandated.

Ashley Wey Quartet performs during Jazz In The Schools 2018.

Pictured Ashley Wey piano, Louis Rudner bass, Nick La Riviere trombone, and Damian Graham drums perform during Jazz In The Schools 2018. 

Through this program, the society sends local jazz artists into Greater Victoria high schools to provide free music education. Local students can benefit from engaging with professional jazz artists in person, workshopping with them, and seeing them perform live.

The Victoria Jazz Society and the Ashley Wey Quartet visited six different secondary schools in 2018. In the past, Jazz In The Schools has visited secondary schools in School Districts 61, 62, and 63.

Jazz In The Schools was presented in 2018 with the generous support of the British Columbia Arts Council Youth Engagement Program.

Workshops/Clinic Information

The Victoria Jazz Society presents workshop/clinics during both TD Victoria International JazzFest and its year-round programming.

These Workshop/Clinics are hosted by touring musicians for the benefit and development of our local musicians. They are attended by musicians with varying skill levels - from mid and high school music students to professional performing musicians. These Workshop/Clinics are open to, and attended by the general public and are presented at no charge to all attendees. The VJS believes these Workshop/Clinics are instrumental and irreplaceable in the development of our local music students.

The tutoring provided during these clinics not only inspires the young virtuosos by “hands on” instruction, but the residual effects in the student’s commitment is carried forward in their desire to learn the instrument, music and the benefits from of practice. It is enlightening for the guest musicians and their pupils to both leave with a converging sense of accomplishment. In the past, artists that have hosted these workshop/clinics include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Bill Frisell, Joshua Redman, Kenny Werner, Christian McBride, and John Pizzarelli. The Victoria Jazz Society is a stakeholder in promoting our young talent and is very proud of the program.

The Victoria Jazz Society Workshop/Clinics are presented with the generous support of the Canadian Heritage Arts Presentation Program. The TD Victoria International JazzFest Workshop/Clinics are presented with the generous support of TD.

As part of the Victoria Jazz Society’s community outreach programming, registration for these Workshop/Clinics is free! Please contact the VJS Office at 250-388-4423 or email info@jazzvictoria.ca with your name and phone number to register. Space for these Workshop/Clinics are limited and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so get your name in early to avoid disappointment!

Free to the Public Performances

Annually, the Victoria Jazz Society includes “free to the public,” performances by local, national, and international artists in the programming of its two festivals: on the TD Main Stage at the TD Victoria International JazzFest, and on the Ship Point Outdoor Stage at Vancouver Island Blues Bash.

In the last fiscal year, 38 concerts were presented free during these festivals, and in addition, 26 were presented with minimal cover charge for the benefit of all audiences. The diverse programming of TD Victoria International JazzFest and Vancouver Island Blues Bash on the “free stages” provide opportunities for music lovers of all ages and income levels to attend performances at both festivals at no cost, enabling a greater exposure to a vast range of music for audiences in Victoria and allowing an appreciation for and love of music to develop for a greater audience.

Student Ticket Discounts

Each fiscal year, the VJS disperses or discounts a large number of tickets to VJS performances.

The VJS believes that providing students with free or reduced price tickets increases the access for students to the music, and encourages their musical development and helps to build an audience base for future VJS presentations, while aiding in diversifying our existing audience.