President Michael Jontry:
Vice-President Carol Jontry
Festival Director Maggie Parker-Brown: 217-454-2709
The Juvae Jazz Society of Decatur (IL) (a 501.c.3 entity) is the driving force behind the Central Illinois Jazz Festival (CIJF) held each year the weekend of the Super Bowl. The festival is held in the Decatur Conference Center Hotel.
In addition to supporting this iconic American music format, the Society also sponsors the appearance of Millikin Jazz Lab Band I and Band II for performances at the festival and sponsors several scholarships for area high school students. Student nominations are solicited by the society from their respective music teachers. The scholarships may be for attendance at various band camps or individual lessons, usually from a doctorate level professor at Millikin University. Jazz Lab performances at CIJF are free to the public as is the Sunday Gospel Service, but like the scholarships, these also have costs offset by the Society.
In addition, CIJF does employ area professional musicians in filling the venues for CIJF; bands scheduled include the Dixie Daredevils from the Decatur area.
You are invited to become a member of the Juvae Jazz Society
Annual membership $25.00
Contributions Welcomed. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Corporation
A Little History of the Central Illinois Jazz Festival
In the festival program for the 2015 Central Illinois Jazz Festival, Herald & Review news writer Bob Fallstrom, a long time supporter of jazz in the Decatur area, wrote a very nice piece on the history of Juvae and CIJF: “How It Began.” We lost Bob on July 9, 2015 but his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of the many people who knew him and who knew of him. His contributions were many, whether through his writing, through direct support, or as a result of his encouragement to young musicians. Juvae and CIJF benefitted from the frequent and extensive mentions in the Herald & Review and certainly from his input to the creation of the CIJF program. Here is what this talented man had to say about the history of CIJF.
“On a January morning in 1994. A Herald and Review reporter/jazz fan and Mike Osborne, proprietor of City Motors on the near north side of Decatur, talked about the upcoming Central Illinois Jazz Festival. They were not satisfied with the number of bands, four. ‘We need more,’ they agreed.
‘Decatur needs a jazz club, too,’ they agreed. ‘Let’s do something about it.’
They did. At the jazz festival. Continue reading