The Illinois Jacquet Foundation was formed to honor the philosophy and aspirations of the late Jean Baptiste Illinois Jacquet by perpetuating his rich legacy. He believed that Jazz Music, created by the down-trodden Black Man in America as a vehicle with which he could access the Sanctity of his Soul, is a truly remarkable gift that can enable anyone in the entire world to connect to this vast Treasure that lies within him. In its pure form, Jazz Music is a universal language of the heart, knowing no boundaries of race, creed or culture.
Illinois Jacquet believed that Jazz Music's intrinsic power to uplift and inspire should be maximized by expanding and nurturing, to the greatest extent possible, opportunities for young people. His first love was to lead students to the joy of Jazz Music, with an understanding of its history, its true purpose and meaning, and most importantly, by grasping the importance of learning how to create music from the heart. "You have to love Jazz Music in order to play it."
The Illinois Jacquet Foundation was formed as a not-for-profit corporation to preserve the extra-ordinary legacy of Illinois Jacquet and to promote the study and appreciation of Jazz Music. Its primary focus will be on the education of young students, in honor of Mr. Jacquet's desire to impart his knowledge and experience to young musicians and to guide them on a path toward excellence.
Selected audio and visual materials of Illinois Jacquet will be compiled into various formats as educational tools for students at all levels. Mr. Jacquet's masterful self-expression in his art vividly illustrates and defines the essence and inherent power of jazz music and offers soul-stirring inspiration for all students of this celebrated music.
For each year since his passing, The Illinois Jacquet Scholarship in Jazz Studies has been assisting young tenor saxophone students at The Juilliard School in New York City. As The Foundation grows, it will establish scholarships at additional schools.