Alaska Jazz Workshop

  • Street
    1600 Wolverine St
  • City
  • Postal
  • State
  • Country
  • Contact Name
    John Damberg
  • Contact Phone
  • Contact Email

Alaska Jazz Workshop-AJW

Mission and History


The Alaska Jazz Workshop is a non-profit arts and service organization founded in 2000 to

cultivate a support and educational system for jazz music and increase the community awareness of jazz music. It’s mission is to provide music education and performance opportunities, and to network and complement programs offered by other jazz organizations in communities throughout Alaska. The AJW provides music education resources not available elsewhere in Alaska to underserved communities of music students seeking to further their knowledge of music and jazz improvisation beyond their initial exposure to music in the public schools. The AJW programs encourage students to develop imaginative thinking, creativity, a positive self image, teaming skills, and a respect for the diverse cultural heritages in Alaska and around the world.


The Alaska Jazz Workshop idea was started by John Damberg and Kerry Maule the

Summer of 1995 as the Small Combo Jazz Improvisation Class. They wanted to provide a means to share their love and passion for the great American art form of Jazz with the future generations of potential jazz lovers. They knew that the art form of Jazz emphasizes self expression, working together as a musical collective to create something that is artistically inspiring, a deep understanding of the language of music through the study of music theory , ear training and an appreciation of the rich culture and history of Jazz music. The initial classes were such a success that John and Kerry decided to offer the classes on a year round basis at UAA on Friday afternoons. So the jazz classes have been running consistently on a year round basis since the summer of 1995. The workshop classes have provided an opportunity for over 2000 Middle and High School students to expand their creative and musical skills while networking with other like minded and impassioned music students. The student combos, which give regular concerts open to the public, have continued to develop the appreciation for jazz music in Alaska.