The Star Jasmine Foundation
and JAMS (Jasmine's Alternative Music School)
Established April 2008
When Nancy Earle founded the Star Jasmine Music Foundation (SJMF) in 1996, she was looking for a way to find solace through music. Begun as a tribute to her late daughter, Jasmine, the victim of a tragic accident at the age of ten, SJMF first manifested itself as a compilation album (featuring Dave Mason, Kenny Loggins, Steve Winwood, and many more) before growing into JAMS (Jasmine’s Alternative Music School), a nonprofit school dedicated to putting music in the hands of Santa Barbara’s at-risk youth. Tucked into an inconspicuous retail space on Milpas Street, Earle’s JAMS currently provides low- to no-cost practice space, music-exploration camps, and recording time to more than 20 kids, most between the ages of 12 and 18, as well as collaborative outreach programs with organizations like Sarah House and Girls Inc. Nancy was recognized as a Local Hero in 2011.
“These are kids that are at that age when you just kind of need a little extra guidance,” explained Earle, citing students who have traded their gang-imbued pasts for musical instruments by way of free weekly Teen Night sessions and concerts at JAMS.
Armed with a room’s worth of traditional (keyboards, guitars, bass) and more worldly (hand drums, gongs, ukuleles) instruments, JAMS currently offers instruction, as well as a safe haven for kids simply looking for somewhere to play, though Earle is still dreaming of something bigger (namely, a larger facility, soundproofing capabilities, and more volunteers). Still, the school’s grassroots approach to community building seems to be working — and growing; JAMS will soon start offering music-exploration sessions for children as young as 10 months old.
“Playing music builds self-confidence, it builds communication skills, and skills these kids can take into the world,” Earle said. “But music also touches your soul; it allows our emotions to breathe.” And that’s something everyone can benefit from.
Read about Nancy and JAMS in the Montecito Journal
The Star Jasmine Music Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization established in 1996 in Santa Barbara, California. The passing of Nancy Earle's young daughter, Jasmine, inspired Nancy to create the foundation in her honor. Nancy has devoted herself to creating opportunities for the youth in our community through music.
She is recognized by the City of Santa Barbara as a hero through her relentless devotion to reaching out to our youth by giving them an expense free opportunity to explore music. In 2007, she opened a music school, recording studio and exploration center called JAMS, with the help of her husband, Jim Cochran, her sons Cody Wheatley and Shane Bitts, and her friend Norm Waitt and his Kind World Foundation.
Through JAMS MUSIC (Jasmine Alternative Music School), our foundation provides a nurturing environment for youth to explore music offering instruction, rehearsal space, a complete range of musical instruments and a state of the art Pro Tools recording studio.
Studies have shown that music education helps with self-esteem, social integration and academic achievement. JAMS MUSIC serves at risk youth, outreach programs, hospitals and schools including Girls Inc., PathPoint, San Marcos High School and the Braille Institute.
THE ORIGINAL VISION:
Nancy Lee Earle, the founder of JAMS, is preparing for the creation of a 5,500 sq. ft. adobe music, art, and performing arts retreat center. The center will be on 10-20 acres of land, with an amphitheater, music museum and multiple yurts. The new school will be solar powered and employ environmentally green methods throughout while employing and teaching permaculture farming (sustainable living).
JAMS arose from the Star Jasmine Music Organization. Our dream facility will be a ten-acre retreat center in Santa Barbara County. You could stay for weekend and for week long workshops. It will be a place of beauty, environmentally friendly and solar powered. The music school will be a 5,500 sq. ft adobe octagon shaped building with a circular recording studio in the middle with windows to see into each room for recording purposes. The eight rooms will be decorated with themes from around the world. Imagine an African room filled with colors of warm rich earth tones, artifacts, drums, and other instruments from that land. People will learn from authentic visuals about where the music originates. A skilled staff will teach permaculture farming and sustainable living. A multi-media theater room will be included where you can watch and learn about music being played from various cultures. You will be able to see and feel what kind of music resonates with you. We will have guest speakers and a variety of guest musicians to learn from, as well as teachers demonstrating various music styles. With a Music Museum built in the side of the mountain, we will be sharing the history of music and musical instruments and take you on a journey from the east to the west and from the north to the south.
With the unbelievable love and support of the community it is possible.
It is time to move forward with a complete, world music based studio and safety zone for our beloved next generation of musicians and songwriters.
The world around us needs as much positivity as we can give. This vision is a chance to reach many of our youth, in a positive, impactful, life changing way .
Stay tuned for news on the development of the new school!
Love & light,
Today, Nancy and her husband James "Jim" Cochran reside on the Mesa, in Santa Barbara. Jim has been a huge supporter of JAMS and the Star Jasmine Music Foundation. When Jim isn't assisting with operations, facilities, and events at JAMS, you will most often find him helping the community with pain reduction and healing deep tissue injuries at Santa Barbara's Advanced Chiropractic Group.