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A Message by Mary Sigalas, Founder of JazzAthens,GA (JAGA)

Hello and THANK YOU for supporting JazzAthens,GA (JAGA), as well as jazz in Athens, GA! We’ve barely scratched the surface… yet, we’ve come so far!

Just after the Athens Jazz Festival (presented by WUGA) in 2015, JAGA began with a simple but exciting vision:

what if Athens became a town that regularly featured great jazz every day or night of the week?


what if Athens, our amazingly creative town, became a recognized incubator and hub for jazz in the Southeast?

Ever since

, we have been working hard to fulfill that vision. It began with a simple musician directory (The Athens Jazz Directory on FB) that enabled local jazz players and singers to find each other more easily. Athens has long had plenty of excellent musicians with an interest in jazz, but most avoided performing jazz in town because they didn’t feel our mostly indie and rock town would support or recognize it as “cool.” As a result, many of these musicians weren’t even aware of each other’s common interest in jazz.


Many are now. For Athens musicians and audiences, interest in developing and nurturing the jazz scene is growing fast.
To drive our vision forward, we’ve hosted bands from established jazz towns like

• New York

• New Orleans

• Philadelphia

• Charleston

• Paris

• Atlanta

And more.

The idea is both to inspire audiences and to help develop new connections for Athens jazz musicians in these other cities. We also want musicians of all ages to have ample access to workshops where they can learn from highly skilled jazz musicians from Athens and beyond.


In addition to gaining connections and training, jazz musicians need to be able to thrive economically. In a town where jazz has not traditionally been the primary crowd draw, venues have understandably been reluctant to invest in the genre over the years… especially on bigger social nights (Thursday through Saturday).


To help reduce this monetary risk and support venues that support jazz, JAGA has helped sponsor performers at many of those venues. Our aim is that by lending this support, we encourage more venues to hire Athens’ jazz musicians, while facilitating more opportunities for people to be exposed to jazz they may not have otherwise heard or seen. We certainly want those venues to thrive. After all, they’re helping this great American art form continue to inspire and bring people together!


We have also hosted or co-hosted more than 100 jazz-oriented events, bringing our favorite music to new or unconventional venues for jazz. Examples include:

• Saturday concerts at the Globe (and other venues new for jazz)

• Special jazz performance days and presence at the Athens Farmers Market

• Jazz Vinyl Night at Old Pal

• Smooth Jazz at Wayward Lounge - a partnership with host, DJ Segar

• Hot Jazz and Swing Night at the Globe

• Workshops by traveling artists at Nuci’s Space

• Jams following concerts

• House concerts.

Partnerships with others, such as Athens Swing Night (swing dancing), to  expand and strengthen our jazz community.


We are proud and happy to have strong partnerships with already established jazz supporters such as these:

WUGA 91.7 has been a partner from the beginning! We co-present the Athens Jazz Festival and we now have plans to collaborate throughout the year via radio promotion, spotlights and special concerts.

Hendershots has joined our JAGA team! We now co-present many shows at this beloved venue. Hendershots is committed to helping grow the Athens Jazz Festival.

The Graduate has also been an active friend of JAGA’s with special concerts, events and participating in Athens Jazz Festival.

DJ Segar has been named our Ambassador of Smooth Jazz ,  promoting his concerts and  DJ events at Wayward.

These are just a few!


For 2019 we're planning a fun-filled year of opportunities to make some great memories with a jazz soundtrack to remember them by! We’re sponsoring numerous concerts and an expanded 2-day outdoor event at Bishop Park (co-presented with WUGA 97.1FM) as part of our 5-day Athens Jazz Festival in October. A high school jazz invitational we’re premiering and a children’s area are exciting JAGA signature pieces of the outdoor event.


Speaking for the dedicated people on our JAGA team, THANK YOU ALL who have helped us get this train on the tracks with wheels in motion by:

Coming to shows and supporting musicians from Athens and beyond

Offering homes for house concerts

Donating food for events

• Hosting traveling artists in your home

Volunteering your time, assistance and skills

Contributing funds!


Before closing, I want to thank the AMAZING MUSICIANS who have participated and helped in various ways! You enrich our lives so very much!



As Founder and the Director of JAGA, I want to thank our INCREDIBLE JAGA Committee & Board that helped me formulate and develop my personal vision of JAGA from the very start! You have my heart! Those of you who are still here... you have my heart AND soul! THANK YOU with everything in me.


     ALL OF YOU have fueled this JAGA train with your enthusiasm for jazz.  Yes. Thanks to you, in 2019 we'll be jammin' full-steam ahead!




JazzAthens,GA is dedicated to the enrichment of our city with the music of our thriving jazz community and beyond. 

We do this through:


Community Awareness


“ALL THINGS JAZZ” Online Calendar (Website & Facebook)

Social Media presence (currently Facebook and Twitter)



Building Artist Community


Jazz musician online directory

Open forum on FB Athens Music Directory

Hosting Jazz jams

Connecting visiting musicians with Athens musicians & vis-versa


Community Events


Venue Concerts (including our weekly Saturday night "JAGA at The Globe" residency in Downtown Athens.

House Concerts

Special “JAGA Feature Concerts”

Participation in partnering Athens community events

Annual Jazz Festival together with WUGA 91.7FM

Community Education


Jazz Clinics & Workshops for Adults and Children

Education via social media & other outreach services

Promotional Assistance Services (for artists, performance groups and venues)

Accommodations/hosting visiting artists

Booking assistance for touring artists and venues

Booking/hosting assistance for Athens’ touring artists (in developmental stages)


Our Team

President - Mary Sigalas
Vice President - Martin Matheny
Treasurer - Anna Steffl
Secretary - Kellie Sharpe


Mary Sigalas, Seth Hendershot, Keiko Ishibashi, Dwain Segar, Louis Romanos, JR Beckwith


Mary Sigalas, Erika James, Ryder Crosby

Anna Steffl, Mary Sigalas

Mary Sigalas, WUGA 91.7FM

Keiko Ishibashi

Louis Romanos, JR Beckwith

JR Beckwith, Matt Yelton

Mary Sigalas

Melissa Gogo

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