While not the first President of the Topeka Jazz Workshop organization, Jim Monroe was the President with the longest tenure - 28 years, from 1977 until his death in 2005.
Jim was one of the original founders of the TJW Concert Series in 1969, and his first few years were spent leading a marketing effort to increase membership in the concert series.
Over the years, Jim oversaw the establishment and development of several youth jazz scholarship funds that were formed to encourage young musicians to embrace jazz. Annual scholarships are awarded for week-long studies at summer jazz camps and for university music studies. In the history of TJW, over 175 young musicians have received scholarships, and many of them have become highly-respected professional jazz musicians.
As Artistic Director, in conjunction with the Topeka Performing Arts Center, Jim orchestrated seven Topeka Jazz Festivals at TPAC from 1998 through 2004, and these festivals are still touted as some of the very best jazz festivals in the nation. He also established the Best of Kansas City Jazz series, held annually for several years at TPAC.
Jim was responsible for bringing many of the world's most famous jazz artists for performances in Topeka, both for the TJW Concert Series each year and for the Topeka Jazz Festivals.