Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund

Dear friend of Oaktown Jazz Workshops (OJW),

Thank you for supporting year-round, community-based music education for youth. This past summer we resumed our in-person classes, workshops, and concerts at our venue and began performing at community events around Oakland, CA. It has been rewarding to see returning OJW members rekindle their friendships with each other through music and exciting for us to welcome new musicians to our program!

After months of engaging our young musicians online with weekly listening assignments and live Zoom discussions during the shelter-in-place, we saw the need to deepen our support of students by offering one-on-one instruction and expanding our program to include an audio engineering class, which will start in spring of 2022.

Centrally located in Jack London Square, the workshops and classes we offer bring children together from Oakland’s neighborhoods and nearby cities to learn in a safe and supportive environment, complete with high-quality instruments and musical equipment. Most of OJW’s students participate in our program for over two years, giving our faculty the opportunity to get to know the young musicians’ strengths and achievements, and provide personalized guidance as they progress. Our dedicated instructors work together collaboratively to share their many decades of experience as professional musicians with students. 

OJW’s faculty also features alumni Youth Mentors that co-teach workshops with our instructors and serve as role models. Many alumni that now live elsewhere make a point to visit Oaktown Jazz Workshops when they return to the Bay Area and help to connect current students with future academic and professional possibilities.

Offering a music program that young musicians consistently find inspiring and authentic would not be possible without the support of individual community members. Nine years ago we launched the Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund to cover the cost of our workshops for young musicians whose families could not otherwise afford tuition. This fund has been absolutely critical in supporting local young people seeking opportunities for creative expression and artistic development. Your contribution to this fund will encourage our children’s creativity, elevate music education and appreciation, and enrich our community.

Thank you for considering us for a year-end donation.


Ravi Abcarian
Executive Director