The mission of JALC is to advance the appreciation and understanding of jazz through performance, education, and preservation activities and to ensure a vibrant future for the art form by developing and expanding its audience. JALC does this through its concert programming, international touring of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, extensive educational programs, and broadcasts and recordings.
JALC' educational programs are designed for all ages and levels of experience and are both local and national in reach. WeBop is an early-childhood jazz education program that includes the whole family. Jazz for Young People concerts reach students and families with performances at JALC's Frederick P. Rose Hall. The Middle School Jazz Academy is an education program for underserved middle school students. The Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program is an annual Competition and Festival to help students perform jazz music with greater proficiency and develop an appreciation for the art form.