Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Jazz St. Louis looking for school groups, student musicians to take part in educational programs

With the start of another school year, Jazz St. Louis' various education programs are getting underway, too:

* JSL is accepting applications for its JazzU program through this Friday, September 5. JazzU is "a series of weekly workshops geared towards middle and high school students who have a desire to become better jazz musicians. JazzU focuses heavily on the jazz language, improvisation, ensemble playing, feel, the blues and basic music theory concepts in order to get students to understand and internalize the fundamental concepts of jazz music."

Students will meet from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Mondays beginning September 22, 2008 at the Centene Center for Arts and Education. JazzU's main instructors are Jazz St. Louis director of education Phil Dunlap, a capable pianist, and music educator and trumpeter Anthony Wiggins, and students also will have the chance to learn from various visiting instructors and guest artists. JazzU is free of charge for the participating students, thanks to funding provided by the Trio Foundation. For more information, eligibility guidelines and an application form, visit the JazzU page at the Jazz St. Louis Web site.

* Jazz St. Louis is also looking for teachers or principals who would like to bring school groups to one of a series of free jazz performances in late October. JSL's 2008 youth concerts will feature the Metta Quintet, an NYC-based jazz group that has done lots of educational work on the East Coast through the not-for-profit organization JazzReach.

Their programs are said to be "entertaining and educational and actively engage students in an analysis of the cultural factors that have come together to make jazz such a compelling art form, the social conditions that shaped the music's development and the immense impact jazz has had on the evolution of our national identity."

The Metta Quintet will present two different programs aimed at middle school and high school students at St. Louis University High School's Joseph Schulte Theatre on Monday, October 27 and Tuesday, October 28. Two more programs geared to grade school-age kids will be presented at Steger Sixth Grade Center in Rock Hill on Wednesday, October 29 and Thursday, October 30. The concerts are free and open to any school interested in attending. For more information and a ticket request form, see this post on Phil Dunlap's blog.

* Last but not least, this year the JSL education department is offering a new service for local music educators called Jazz Rx. For what's described as "a nominal fee," JSL will supply professional jazz education clinicians to visit a school and conduct on-site big band clinics, rhythm section workshops, sectional rehearsals and master classes. For more information, call Phil Dunlap at 314-289-4033.

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