top of page

The History of the Cape Fear Jazz Society

The Cape Fear Jazz Society is a non-profit organization run by unpaid volunteers and registered as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization with the Internal Revenue Service.  The Society owes its origins to a combination of inspiration, passion, frustration and ambition. Dr. Robert Johnson and Mr. Richard Schmetterer were frustrated by the lack of quality jazz events in the Cape Fear region that forced them to drive to Raleigh or other cities hours away. Wilmington should have great jazz concerts as well, they thought. Knowing others equally as frustrated, they felt there had to be enough support in the Cape Fear region to merit an organized interest in jazz. 

By the early part of 1997, Johnson and Schmetterer had gauged the interest in jazz in Wilmington and surrounding areas and channeled their ambition into building an organized club. With the aid of the Blues Society and 30 initial members, the Cape Fear Jazz Society was born with a mission statement, bylaws and a method of electing officers. 


Cut to many years later, and the Cape Fear Jazz Society now boasts over 100 members and sponsors a variety of jazz events throughout the year in the Wilmington area. We continue to grow with the help of our members and the local community. Still a "work in progress" we feel the passion of our members make the Cape Fear Jazz Society a true representation of what jazz is, our enduring people's American art.

bottom of page