• JCI programs use a holistic, personal approach. Instead of teaching a stock curriculum, we mentor each student as an individual to encourage them to honor their uniqueness and pursue their own ideas with our guidance.

  • JCI programs go beyond music fundamentals and teach entrepreneurial concepts that show people how to make a life in music with practical goal-setting, professional development, and marketing skills.

  • JCI programs model arts leadership and purposefully foster the creation of supportive communities of musicians.


JCI was co-founded in 2014 by colleagues and artist-entrepreneurs Nich Mueller, Benje Daneman, and Ashley Daneman in Kalamazoo, MI. Benje and Ashley have taken over leadership of JCI since Nich moved on to work and perform in NYC. Wishing him all the very best (keep up with him here)!

I am thoroughly impressed with the Jazz Start Program. My son has attended for two years. This program increased his confidence in improvising and creatively expressing himself through jazz music. Not only do the students learn the fundamentals of jazz, they also grow as a person through communication, music and performance. The participants and the instructors are very encouraging and positive. It is a fantastic program for students with a passion for music!
— JAZZSTART Parent, 2015