Kansas City Area Youth Jazz Inc.


The technical subtleties and refined essence of any highly sophisticated art form like jazz music are most genuinely perpetuated by master artists directly passing along their knowledge to the following generations of artists.

Kansas City Area Youth Jazz actually realizes that artist industry mentoring paradigm while also teaching the business craftsmanship and techniques of arts entrepreneurship that builds living wage infrastructure for artists while bringing jazz music to broader audiences and also to underserved communities.

It’s been said that most new businesses take five years or more to become viable entities. 

Kansas City Area Youth Jazz went from being a “great idea” supported exclusively by volunteers, to a formal nonprofit public charity organization that is in its second year of fundraising.

Terri Anderson Burnett and I would like to thank all of you who have supported this project and we hope that you continue to support it going forward. You are vital to this program!

And we want to personally thank these specific people and entities:

Bill Crain

Will Crain 

Rev WM Thornton 

Houston Smith 

Dr. Mary Burnett

Erica Lindsay

Sumi Tonooka 

Greg Carroll

Dr. Doris Carroll

Dr. Adrianna Marshall

David Cunningham 

Bobby Watson 

Leon Brady

Patrick Cornelius 

Victoria Alaadeen

Clarence Smith

Toni Gates

Kelsey Vetter

Dr. Todd Wilkinson 

Joel Gordon

Jim Mair

Dr. Dan Thomas

Duane Hallock

Mike Gerken

Debra Gerken

Bill Mullin

Jon McGraw

Marcus Hampton, Jr.

Artists Recording Collective (Record Label)

BRC Audio Productions 

Kansas City Public Schools 

The Tune Shop

Conn-Selmer Inc.

All of the albums recorded during each season of the Kansas City Area Youth Jazz are made available worldwide at all of the major music services and the albums from the last three seasons will complete postproduction on December 15, 2023. 

This program is a truly unique resource and great opportunity for our next generation jazz artists.  


2023 FELLOWS (ARC-3459) (pending) 

2022 FELLOWS (ARC-8715) (pending) 

2021 FELLOWS (ARC-3671) (pending)

2020 FELLOWS (ARC-2277) (released)

2019 FELLOWS (ARC-2994) (released)


Kansas City Area Youth Jazz is a spring and summer only program. 

It’s like going away in summer to something like the Interlochen Center for the Arts or the Berklee College of Music summer sessions except it’s local, merit based, and free of tuition. 

We don’t encourage students with known potential conflicts to audition due to the musical rigors and scope of the KCAYJ program. 

Each awarded Fellowship is vital to each ensemble. 

KCAYJ Fellows prepare professional level literature for recording, perform in a next generation summer showcase concert festival, some play paid gigs in the community, and Fellows work with a variety of renowned teaching artists as clinicians each season.


🔗 https://youthjazz.us/event/2024-fellowships-auditions/

Christopher L. Burnett (BMI) . Founder and Artistic Director . Kansas City Area Youth Jazz, Inc. 

🔗  https://YOUTHJAZZ.US

Musician, Composer, Educator . First Sergeant (Ret), US Army . “Soldier For Life” Army Music 🇺🇸

MUSINGS IN Cb: “Youth Jazz Updates”

PHOTO by Corinna Gray Photography (2023)

Christopher and Terri (Anderson) Burnett established their branch of The Burnett Family in March of 1979 in Copenhagen, Denmark. They are professional musicians, educators, and entrepreneurs based in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.