A music enrichment program as an educational listener's guide to jazz.
Adventures With Jazz is an enrichment program intended for grades kindergarten through high school. The program is a very dynamic introductory experience as a listener's guide to jazz. The quartet, playing reeds (sax, flute, clarinet), keyboard, acoustic bass, and drums, has essential age-appropriate variables concerning choice of music, presentation style, and humor. For a three-page printout regarding the program, performers and contact information, please click here.
There are three distinct shows available, as explained in more detail below. The first, intended for younger audiences, demonstrates the individual instruments' role in the music and explains the improvisational "storytelling" and conversational qualities as well as the emotional personality of the music. The second is a hands-on jazz clinic focusing on improvisation. The group works with the school instrumentalists (at any proficiency) to help them develop confidence and experience improvisation. Third, dynamic concerts are presented to the older audiences.
In the first show, using compositions by jazz greats, (Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, George Shearing, Theloneus Monk, to name a few) a jazz composition is constructed one instrument at a time; an improvised conversation takes place between two instruments; a familiar melody (a television theme) is developed into a fast dynamic jazz song. Emotion in music is demonstrated and featured in its own songs, with a few surprises. The audience participates in a physical way, either clapping or "skat" singing. This show works well through middle school, again with adjustments to make it age-appropriate. (30-45 minutes)
In the clinics, all instrumentalists are invited to participate, from first-year players to advanced. It is not necessary to have knowledge of scales or music theory, nor are the clinics exclusive to jazz band instruments. (One never knows where a new Stephane Grappelli will surface.) We provide a safe environment for improvisation, allowing the students an opportunity to experiment and discover, and we encourage peers to support their fellow players. This readily promotes a positive sense of self-esteem. Often the students are very surprised at how creative they can be! "Adventures with Jazz" teaches by example, performing for the students to illustrate the concepts that we are endeavoring to explain. If the school has a jazz band, the group works with each section (rhythm section, saxophone section, etc.) on "rhythmic feel," dynamics, ensemble, and soloing, often later including them in a concert for a larger audience of their peers. (Unlimited time frame)
The concerts on the high school level focus primarily on the performance of music, with emphasis on experiencing a jazz program from beginning to end as one would find in an actual concert venue, with occasional explanation and/or introductions. The program is intense right from the start, commanding the audience's attention. Music of the jazz greats is explored, demonstrating the widely varied content of the jazz idiom. Through this presentation the audience learns that jazz is a current, living art form. (30-60 minutes)
"Adventures With Jazz" is available for fundraising events, concerts and adult education. This highly-experienced ensemble is comfortable in any venue, and will present a jazz program suitable to the event, of any length.
For more information please contact: Adventures with Jazz