BackCountry Jazz HistoryBackCountry Jazz Collage


BackCountry Jazz was founded in 2007 by internationally renowned saxophonist Bennie Wallace to address the declining support for music and arts programs across the country. BCJʼs goal is to become a model that will be replicated both nationally and internationally. We have presented concerts with such celebrated artists as Hank Jones, Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Barron, Terell Stafford, and the 11-piece all-star jazz orchestra, Disorder At The Border.

BCJ programs focus primarily on urban centers and at-risk children. Since 2007, we established working partnerships with the following:

  • Bridgeport Public Schools, Tania Kelley, Director of Performing Arts
  • Action for Bridgeport and Community Development (ABCD)
  • Greater Bridgeport Latino Network
  • Kids Empowered by Your Support (KEYS)
  • Music and Arts Center for Humanity (MACH) that provides after school arts education Young Audiences of Connecticut
  • Greenwich High School Jazz Band, John Yoon, director

We have sponsored and produced:

  • First Bridgeport community concert, September ʻ08
  • Teacher-training scholarships to Bridgeport music teachers
  • Educational concerts and workshops
  • First Annual “Dizzyʼs Dream” event, September ʼ09, which included a workshop and open rehearsal for students and a concert for the Bridgeport community
  • Initiated free instrument and private lesson program for deserving students
  • First annual city-wide public school youth concert