GET TO KNOW THE NORTHWEST ARKANSAS JAZZ SOCIETY

Our Story

For the past 31 years, the Northwest Arkansas Jazz Society (NAJS) has been a community leader in presenting world-class jazz performers in venues across Northwest Arkansas. We're a non-profit membership organization that seeks to present, preserve, promote, and celebrate the great American art form known as jazz through education, concert presentation, and artist promotion.

Our operating funds are secured through membership fees, grants, ticket sales, and merchandise sales. We rely on the generosity of the Northwest Arkansas community and are grateful for the continued support of many. Today, our work of celebrating jazz is stronger than ever. We seek to find innovative ways to engage with new and diverse audiences and keep jazz alive and well.

A History of Word-Class Presentations


A shortlist of talent presented over the years includes Pat Metheny, Eliane Elias, The Yellowjackets, Claudia Acuña, Bill Frisell, Kenny Barron, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Lucy Woodward, Ray Anderson, Joey DeFrancesco, Kim Prevost, Kevin Mahogany, James Williams, Greg Osby, Frank Vignola, David Sanchez, Bobby Watson, Bob Dorough, Sheila Jordan, and Danilo Perez.

View Local Musicians

Bringing Jazz to NWA VENUES including... 


...Walton Arts Center, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, George's Majestic Lounge, 21C Hotel, Bordino's, Teatro Scarpino, Eureka Springs Auditorium, and the University of Arkansas.

ACTIVITIES 

& PROGRAMS 


Our ongoing activities include The Summer Jazz Concert Series, Jazz All-Stars Youth Ensemble, Jazz Jam for local musicians, advanced study scholarships, and artist support for performance, recording, and educational projects.

NAJS BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Robert Ginsburg

NAJS Executive Director

Robert's life in music for over four decades has forged a permanent presence for jazz within the Northwest Arkansas cultural landscape. In a time when places for jazz artists to perform are going by the boards, and when jazz on the airwaves is greatly diminishing, Robert's impact and sphere of influence upon his community has never been stronger or more visible. 


In 1979 Robert began producing a jazz radio show on KUAF-FM. At the time it was a 10-watt lab station housed within the University of Arkansas' School of Journalism. Today "Shades of Jazz," Robert's Friday 10 p.m. to midnight broadcast, stands as the station's longest-running program. 


In 1992 Robert founded the Northwest Arkansas Jazz Society, a non-profit, community-based membership organization producing a fall-to-spring series featuring major jazz musicians. A year later, Robert joined the steering committee assigned to bring focus and direction to Fayetteville's then-emerging Walton Arts Center. When the multi-venue performing arts center opened its doors that year he was named its "jazz curator" – another position he still holds – booking a subscription series of nationally touring artists and guiding their educational outreach to schools where they conduct workshops and masterclasses.

Most recently, with the support of the Walton Family Foundation and Walton Arts Center, Robert has launched the "Jazz Education Initiative". This program has been created to foster the advancement, creative spirit, and appreciation of Jazz Arts. The Initiative cultivates jazz appreciation to sustain the jazz art form through education programs integrating school performance, workshops, artists-in-residency, and public performance opportunities. 


The flagship of the program is the Northwest Arkansas Jazz All-Star Youth Ensemble. [link to the page] Robert's efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2010 he received the Arkansas Governor's Arts Award for Community Development, a recognition bestowed upon "a civic leader who has taken a leadership role in creating an environment for artists and the arts to flourish in his/her local community." In 2016 he was the recipient of the Jazz Journalist Association Hero Award. The award is meant to honor people who are "advocates, altruist activist, aiders and abettors of jazz and who have had significant impact in their community.

David Crittenden, 
NAJS President

Retired Internal Medicine Specialist from Fayetteville, and passionate music lover and supporter of the arts.

Darren Nototny, 
NAJS Vice President

Jazz drummer, recording engineer and owner of Knob Hill Studio, and acoustician who lives on Beaver Lake.

Rick Salonen, 
NAJS Secretary

Jazz musician from Farmington., arranger, composer, and instructor at U of A teaching Jazz History and Director of Jazz Ensembles.

Marty Goff Burggraf

A resident of Fayetteville and graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Nursing. Mary is a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors and a jazz lover who has been a member of the NWA Jazz Society since its inception.

Andy Green

Resides in Bentonville and has spent 45 years in entertainment, musical, theatrical, tourism and hospitality production, artist, and event management.

Bob Arvin

Graduate of John Brown University and the University of Arkansas who resides in Bentonville. Bob has been with Walmart since 1982 and currently serves as Divisional Vice President.


Janice Stanescic

Resides in Fayetteville, and is a financial advisor and music lover.

Patrick Conge

Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas, Graduate Coordinator and Department Vice-Chair whose specialty is international relations.

Local Musicians

alphabetical by last name

First Name
Felipe
Last Name
Antonio
Instrument #1
Guitar
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Elizabeth
Last Name
Bainbridge
Instrument #1
Vocals
Instrument #2

First Name
Anthony
Last Name
ball
Instrument #1
drums
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Matt
Last Name
beach
Instrument #1
trombone
Instrument #2
Drums
First Name
Dillon
Last Name
Brouse
Instrument #1
Drums
Instrument #2

First Name
claudia
Last Name
burson
Instrument #1
piano
Instrument #2

First Name
Chase
Last Name
Cavalier
Instrument #1
Trumpet
Instrument #2

First Name
ADam
Last Name
Collins
Instrument #1
Vibes
Instrument #2
Banjo
LINK

First Name
Patrick Leslie
Last Name
DeHart
Instrument #1
Saxophone
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Austin
Last Name
Farnam
Instrument #1
Saxophone
Instrument #2

First Name
Charles
Last Name
Faulk
Instrument #1
Piano
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Walter
Last Name
Ferguson
Instrument #1
Drums
Instrument #2

First Name
Allan
Last Name
Gibson
Instrument #1
Trumpet
Instrument #2

First Name
jeff
Last Name
gray
Instrument #1
trumpet
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Jim
Last Name
Greeson
Instrument #1
Guitar
Instrument #2
Bass
First Name
Lance
Last Name
Grigsby
Instrument #1
Trombone
Instrument #2

First Name
michael
Last Name
Hannah
Instrument #1
Saxophone
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Ben
Last Name
Harris
Instrument #1
Guitar
Instrument #2

First Name
jake
Last Name
hertzog
Instrument #1
guitar
Instrument #2

First Name
Jim
Last Name
Jernigan
Instrument #1
Clarinet
Instrument #2

First Name
Mike
Last Name
Johnson
Instrument #1
Bass
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
garrett
Last Name
jones
Instrument #1
double Bass
Instrument #2
Electric Bass
First Name
mickey
Last Name
McFetridge
Instrument #1
Saxophones
Instrument #2

First Name
Matt
Last Name
Nelson
Instrument #1
piano
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Ed
Last Name
Nicholson
Instrument #1
Guitar
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Darren
Last Name
novotny
Instrument #1
drums
Instrument #2

First Name
Liam
Last Name
O'Dell
Instrument #1
Bass
Instrument #2
Electric Bass
First Name
Roby
Last Name
PANTALL
Instrument #1
Guitar
Instrument #2

First Name
Rocky
Last Name
Parsons
Instrument #1
Drums
Instrument #2
Percussion
First Name
ALISHA
Last Name
PATTILLO
Instrument #1
SAXOPHONE
Instrument #2

First Name
Ron
Last Name
Pennington
Instrument #1
Bass
Instrument #2
Mandolin
LINK

First Name
Van
Last Name
POwell
Instrument #1
Bass
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
paul
Last Name
PRice
Instrument #1
Guitar
Instrument #2
Harp Guitar
First Name
Bill
Last Name
PUNCH
Instrument #1
Trumpet
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
drew
Last Name
rogers
Instrument #1
guitar
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Rick
Last Name
salonen
Instrument #1
saxophones
Instrument #2
bass
First Name
Matt
Last Name
Smith
Instrument #1
Guitar
Instrument #2

First Name
Gerry
Last Name
Sloan
Instrument #1
Trombone
Instrument #2

First Name
Clare
Last Name
Starr
Instrument #1
Bass
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Mark
Last Name
Steele
Instrument #1
Drums
Instrument #2

First Name
Chris
Last Name
Teal
Instrument #1
Drums
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Ron
Last Name
Thurston
Instrument #1
Saxophone
Instrument #2

LINK

First Name
Fernando
Last Name
Valencia
Instrument #1
Percussion
Instrument #2

First Name
Steve
Last Name
Wilkes
Instrument #1
Drums
Instrument #2

LINK