Madison Jazz Project was created in 1994 as the result of years of evolution.
About 1980, Madison Concert Band was formed, under the direction of Leonard Green, at the Western Reserve Fine Arts Association, part of the Madison Community Development Association. Years later, the MCDA Chairman, Irene Hummel, asked Marty Carney, a long-time band member, to take over as Band Manager. During this time, the band’s director, Bob Alexander, also decided to retire. In the spring of 1994, Mr. Carney hired John Malkamaki to take over the duties as Band Director.
Mr. Malkamaki noted that the band membership and instrumentation was better suited to a jazz ensemble than that of a concert band. So, during the summer of 1994, he purchased music and trained the band to perform as both a concert band and jazz ensemble. Later that year, MCDA decisions split the band into a concert band and a jazz band. Mr. Malkamaki, Mr. Carney, and a dedicated group of band members named the jazz band Madison Jazz Project. In the two decades since its creation, Madison Jazz Project has continued to grow and swing.
In May 2013, it became obvious that MJP needed to move to a new, bigger facility. The nearly 3400 square foot Geneva Community Center graciously opened its doors to offer the Madison Jazz Project a wonderful new location to play and perform and preserve Big band and Swing music for generations to come.
Madison Jazz Project has played all over Northeastern Ohio. We have had the pleasure of opening for "David Benoit" and "Big Bad Voodoo Daddy" at an American Lung Association benefit at Blossom Music Center. Since 2007, we have been the headline band for the USO dance to close the largest D-Day (1944) living history reenactment in the country, at the Conneaut American Legion ballroom. We were also featured in a short film by William Johns, “Somewhere in France”, which was released in 2011 to various International Film Festivals.
Our highly talented group membership ranges from high school aged musicians to experienced musicians over 80 years old. We have had members from Pennsylvania and Lake, Ashtabula, and Geauga counties.
Madison Jazz Project provides live entertainment for a variety of events, including, festivals, summer concerts, fund raisers, black tie events, corporate events, political events, charities, wedding receptions, colleges & universities, school events, private functions and more.