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South Jersey Music Education Partnership (SJMEP)

2017 Pinelands Jazz Festival

We are in the planning stages for our 2017 Jazz Festival.  We can use all the help we can get – so anyone who would like to volunteer their time to something great, please contact us through our contact page.

2017 Summer Music Lesson Scholarship Applications

In conjunction with the New Jersey School of Music, SJMEP is once again awarding summer music lesson scholarships to beginner instrumentalists on flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet and trombone. Each scholarship consists of 10 free lessons that will be given at either the Cherry Hill or Medford location of the New Jersey School of Music. All students entering grades 4th though 8th in both Camden and Burlington Counties are eligible to apply for a scholarship. These are small group lessons and are geared towards the absolute beginner. If you have played your instrument before, even if just for a short while, then these lessons are not right for you.  The Application process has not yet begun for this year.  Stay tuned – we will be updating and taking applications soon!


SJMEP presents the 3rd Annual Pinelands Jazz Festival

September 16-18, 2016, Medford, NJ -South Jersey Music Education Partnership ( hosted the 3rd annual Pinelands Jazz Festival ( which was held on Sunday, September 18th at YMCA, Camp Ockanickon ( at 1303 Stokes Rd., Medford, NJ. The music kicked off in the amphitheater at 2 PM and continued right on through to 8 PM with a new band starting at the top of every hour. 2016 Festival Pics Here.

The lineup for the festival featured some of the region’s top jazz artists including:

  • M-Town Jazz Jam
  • Brian Betz Quartet featuring Denis DiBlasio
  • Paula Johns
  • Eric Mintel Quartet
  • Michelle Lordi Quartet featuring Larry McKenna and Sonny Troy
  • Breckerville

We also featured our young Scholarship students performing during the intermissions. Vendors, crafters and artisans were onsite as well – something for everyone! The Pinelands Jazz festival by the picturesque Lake Stockwell at Camp Ockanickon.

The festival kicked off on Friday Night with our 2nd annual “Friday Night In Paris” at the historic Braddock’s Tavern in Medford. This event’s entertainment was fantastic ‘Gypsy Jazz’ provided by none other than The Hot Club of Philadelphia.  The fun continued on the Pinelands Jazz Festival Stage @ Medford’s ‘Taste of Medford / Ocktoberfest’, held on the historic town’s Main St.  Many festival-goers were entertained by Michelle Lordi and M-Town Jazz Jam as they enjoyed the day with music, vendors and the great food only to be had at street stands hosted by Medford’s great restaurants.

For more information on the jazz festival please visit


An Early start setting up for the Festival

Camp Ockanickon’s amphitheater has great acoustics and the shade trees provided a great experience for all of the Jazz Lovers that came out to hear the bands play.  Last year was an amazing event full of great music and family fun.

So.. who are we?

Our group formed from back in 2011.  The year that Instrumental band was cut from the Elementary schools in our town.  That is why we do what we do – and believe that all children should have a chance to learn an instrument.  We believe that Music, Arts, and Cultural programs in schools are just as beneficial to a student’s emerging skills as academic programs.  We believe that children that have a link – are connected- to music is a key to making all of our futures brighter.  Music binds us in a way that transcends language.  We formed this organization to support music education in our community through scholarships, mentor-ships, classes and performance opportunities.  We work to expand music education’s influence past our community and into ALL communities, where all of us have a benefit and connection.  We are a 100% volunteer 501c3 organization dedicated to ensuring any kid that wants to play an instrument should be given that opportunity to learn…and grow.