U.S. Department of Education Informances

The Institute is proud to maintain a longstanding collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education (ED), each year presenting a highly-anticipated educational “informance” – a combination of performance and educational information – at ED headquarters featuring some of the nation’s most talented high school jazz musicians sharing key lessons from jazz.

The next informance featuring renowned jazz trumpet recording artist Sean Jones and the Institute’s Peer-to-Peer Jazz Quintet will take place on April 10, 2024 at 1:00pm ET. To participate virtually in the free jazz informance, all attendees must register prior to the event to obtain a meeting number and passcode at:

The most recent informance took place on April 4, 2023. Hosted by U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, the presentation featured five gifted students from the Institute’s Jazz in the Classroom programs along with internationally acclaimed jazz trumpet recording artist Terell Stafford, and Institute Vice President for Education and Curriculum Development Dr. JB Dyas.

The 2022 and 2023 informances were streamed live from the ED headquarters building in Washington, D.C. to hundreds of school districts in the United States and around the world, and on official ED and Institute channels. It focused not only on what jazz is and why it’s important to America, but also on how the principles of jazz–collaborating, improvising, not seeking perfection, playing off each other’s strengths, perseverance and the vital importance of really listening to one another–can enlighten leaders as they navigate through crisis, uncertainty and challenging times.

Watch the Complete 2022 Informance

2021 Highlights

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual informance at ED took place virtually in 2021. On April 13, Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock and U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona participated in a special discussion on jazz, creativity and the importance of self-expression, with an educational presentation on the history of jazz led by Dr. JB Dyas and a series of performances by student musicians from the Institute’s National Peer-to-Peer All-Star Jazz Septet. The program was offered for free via Zoom and later shared widely online, reaching more than 500,000 views on YouTube alone.