SMF Jazz Academy

SMF Jazz Academy


Jessica Messere, Manager
Erez Dessel, SMF Jazz Academy Music Director
Aaron Jennings, SMF Jazz Academy Program Coordinator

SMF Jazz Academy is a year-long after-school jazz program that aims to empower the whole student by instilling life-long skills of academic, social, and musical achievement. SMF Jazz Academy is completely free to all Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) students in grades 5 through 12 and open to ALL music levels.


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, SMF Jazz Academy’s program site was held at the School of Humanities at Juliette Gordon Low Elementary. SCCPSS and 21st Century Learning Centers have been gracious to allow a partnership for the use of their facilities and resources.

Have questions? Check out our FAQ page.

Savannah Music Festival provides SMF Jazz Academy at no cost to participants through the generous support of donors and sponsors. Thank you! 

Investment in Savannah Music Festival’s SMF Jazz Academy is provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and Ron & Susan Whitaker.

SMF Jazz Academy is sponsored by the City of Savannah, Chestnut Family Foundation, Charles A. Frueauff Foundation, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., National Endowment for the Arts, and May Wall & Walter Lynch.

SMF Jazz Academy is sponsored in part by Walter G. Canipe Foundation, Kole Management Company, Robert M. & Diane v.S. Levy, and Anne P. West.

Partial support for SMF Jazz Academy is provided by Atlanta Gas Light, Find Your Light Foundation, Georgia Council for the Arts, Vicki & Jerry McElreath, Mrs. Ellen O’Bannon, Pincus Family Foundation, Publix Super Markets Charities, and United Community Bank.

Additional support comes from D’Addario Foundation, J.P. Dessel, Chavon Gardner, Georgia Power, Great Dane, and Annie Holland.

Updated 11.18.21