Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts


“Music is the art of thinking with sounds.” -Jules Combarieu

Education is the foundation for students’ success. It teaches fundamental skills needed to excel in everyday life. The core classes of science, mathematics, history, social studies and writing are essential. Music and art often times become electives, unless the student attends a music or art school where it is a primary focus of the curriculum. Ultimately, many students interested in music join organizations that promote music education.

I am the President of the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts. Our mission is to provide Colorado youth unique opportunities for the study and performance of jazz, thereby offering them the ability to explore their creativity and voices, both individually and collectively. Chris and Paul Romaine, founders of the organization, have expanded to three locations since it’s inception in 1999. It now offers 8 programs, serves over 185 students from over 60 schools each year, with a total of over 1000 kids served to date.

Photographed are CCJA alumni.

By implementing this program, students have become fluent in the language of music as a manner of artistic, intellectual, and cultural expression. Music provides a means for development and growth in many areas of academic development. Approximately 20% of CCJA’s alumni now play music professionally, while others choose alternate career trajectories. Many alumni return to participate in a small group mentoring program for current students.

Music undoubtedly offered a well rounded education for these students. It is CCJA’s hope to sustain the programs and work to continue fueling students desire to play, perform and learn jazz. CCJA depends largely on earned revenues. The remainder of funds is generated through grants, individual donors and corporate sponsors. To learn more about this incredible organization or to make a donation, visit Thank you for supporting music education!

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Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.