The Jazz Journalists Association is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) professional organization, founded in 1986 to "promote the interests of journalists who cover jazz." The JJA is open to all forms of jazz and responsible journalism across all media.

As of   2009, the JJA has approximately 450 members -- writers, broadcasters, photographers and new media producers, students and supporters from affiliated music institutions or industries -- mostly in the United States and Canada but with some representatives on every continent. Besides the Jazz Awards, which the JJA initiated in 1996, the organization's programs include presentation of Jazz Matters panel discussions at jazz festivals and educational institutions; publication of the quarterly journal Jazz Notes (now onliine), creation in 1995 and maintenance of the website;  co-production of the National Critics Conference (Los Angeles, May 2005) and "Jazz in the Global Imagination," the first international conference of jazz journalists to be held in the U.S., produced by the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University (New York City, September 2007).

The Jazz Journalists Association is proud to have enjoyed the collaboration, support and sometimes sponsorship of musical, academic and journalistic entities including, the American Theatre Critics Association, the Louis Armstrong Foundation, ASCAP, the Beantown Jazz Festival (Berklee College of Music), BMI, Blue Note Records, B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill, the Blue Note Jazz Club-New York, Bud Light (Anheuser-Busch), the Chicago Jazz Festival, Concord Records, ESP Disk, the Dance Critics Association, DL Media, the Detroit Jazz Festival, Ear Shot Jazz, Half-Note Records, Iceberg Vodka, the International Association of Art Critics/USA, the International Association for Jazz Education, Iridium, the Jazz Foundation of America, Jazz at Lincoln Center,, Jazz Improv, JazzPromo Works, Jazz Times, Litchfield Jazz Festival,  Monterey Jazz Festival, Music Critics Association of North America, the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program, North Coast Brewing Company (Brother Thelonious Ale), the Ottawa Jazz Festival, PDX Jazz and the Portland Jazz Festival, Pi Records, Rap & Rock Confidential, Verve Records and George Wein, among others.