The Jazz Academy Orchestra (JAO) is a large ensemble where students learn and perform the big band charts of Duke Ellington, Glen Miller and other writers of the big band era and beyond. This talented group of musicians are in grades 7th through 12th, from cities across the Washington, DC metropolitan area and they rehearse bi-weekly during the school year. The JAO provides students with numerous performance opportunities. Performances at prestigious venues such as the Cleveland Jazz Festival, Silver Spring Jazz Festival, Strathmore, Blues Alley, DC Jazz Festival, Jazz Educators Network (JEN) [Atlanta, San Diego], Westminster Jazz Night, Montgomery County Executive Ball and more are a standard benefit of becoming a JAO member. The JAO has shared the stage with Warren Wolf, Terell Stafford, Bruce Barth, Joey Calderazzo, Sharon Clark, Sharel Cassity, Delfeayo Marsalis and Carmen Bradford and has had the honor of per performing with Grammy winning artists such as trumpeters Brian Lynch and Randy Brecker. The awe-inspiring JAO is just one of the Jazz focused musical groups established by renowned jazz saxophonist Paul Carr under his 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Jazz Academy of Music Inc. (2002). Mr. Carr has been recognized by the Jazz Journalists Association as Jazz Hero 2019 for Washington, DC. Also, he has received the Benny Golson Award from Howard University and Montgomery County Maryland’s Teacher of the year in 2015. The Jazz Academy’s mission is to advance and preserve jazz music through education and outreach and the JAO is only one example of the universal appeal and positive impact of Jazz education on the youth of today.