The Central Illinois Jazz Society

The Central Illinois Jazz Society is a non-profit organization that is open to anyone who enjoys jazz. You do NOT have to be a musician to be a member or to attend our programs. The purpose of the organization is to further the appreciation of jazz among residents of Central Illinois. We provide opportunities for jazz musicians to perform and for jazz fans to enjoy their favorite music. 

The Central Illinois Jazz Society was started when about 200 people gathered for an outdoor jazz concert in the back yard of a home. Since everyone enjoyed the concert so much, three individuals from the crowd decided to form the Central Illinois Jazz Society (CIJS). The Charter for the CIJS was first composed in September 1978. The first concert for the Jazz Society took place on December 1, 1978 at the Illinois Central College cafeteria.

The Jazz Society has sponsored many famous jazz artists, including Louie Bellson, Clark Terry, Bobby Shew, Slide Hampton, Phil Wilson and Nicholas Payton. The CIJS encourages the younger generation to develop an interest in jazz. Therefore, we admit all students free to our monthly programs, which are held at the Landmark Recreation Center, 3225 N. Dries Lane, Peoria. Programs have been at the Landmark since January 2010. We appreciate the support that the Landmark Recreation Center provides to the Jazz Society. 

Our monthly programs are scheduled at the Landmark Recreation Center from 6:00 pm until 8:30 pm. The program starts with one set by the CIJS House Band. The Guest Group follows with a set that starts at 7:15 pm. The dress is casual with guests welcome to arrive and leave as they wish. Food and beverages are available for purchase through the Landmark.

The admission for each monthly program is:

        Members $5.00

        Non-members $7.00

        Students are Free (college students show a current ID)

We have featured many college jazz bands and high school jazz bands as performing guest groups at our monthly programs. High school and college students have further developed their jazz skills by sitting in with the Central Illinois Jazz Society House Band. The House Band features outstanding musicians from throughout Central Illinois. Larry Harms is the leader of the House Band. He and other experienced musicians have helped develop many young musicians. In addition, the Jazz Society has provided scholarships to talented students to continue their education.

Jazz Society membership is obtained through payment of annual dues. Members receive a monthly newsletter and a reduced rate for attending our programs. All income from membership dues and concert fees is used to pay for the musicians, cover mailing expenses, and advertising. Our officers and committee members are not paid. We welcome other volunteers who would like to help the Jazz Society.   

Membership in the Central Illinois Jazz Society is available for the following annual rates:

            Single membership                  $25.00

            Family membership                 $45.00 (immediate family living at same address)

Associate membership                          Associate membership            $60.00 (a business, organization or individual receive special mention or ads in our monthly publication)

                                                            Newsletter Only                      $10.00 (do not receive reduced rate to monthly programs)

Members receive reduced admission for the monthly programs and also receive a monthly newsletter. There are no requirements for membership other than to pay the annual dues. Members are critical to the finances of the Central Illinois Jazz Society, since their annual dues help support the jazz programs and provide a primary revenue source for us to pay the musicians, who perform at our programs. We also seek organizations that would be willing to advertise in our monthly newsletter. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, contributions to the Central Illinois Jazz Society are tax-deductible according to applicable laws.

 For more information about the Central Illinois Jazz Society, call 692-5330, or visit the web site at or email