Los Angeles, Calif. – The School District of Philadelphia was one of four school districts nationwide selected this year to be provided a week of “peer-to-peer” concerts and workshops by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. With lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute will introduce its “Peer-to-Peer” jazz education program in Philadelphia public schools March 19-23.
Combining performance with information, these “informances” will be presented by seven exceptionally gifted high school music students from around the country who participate in the Institute’s National Performing Arts High School Jazz Program. They will be featured with internationally acclaimed jazz bassist and winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble, Christian McBride.
Also on hand will be Kansas City vocal sensation Lisa Henry and renowned jazz educator Dr. J.B. Dyas. Each school visit will include an assembly program featuring a musical performance for all students, followed by jazz workshops for each school’s jazz band and choir with the visiting student performers playing alongside and sharing ideas with their City of Brotherly Love counterparts.
“As young people are so influenced by kids their own age, who better to expose them to this great American art form than those of their own generation?” said Thelonious Monk, Jr., Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Trustees and son of legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. “And when you hear how great these young kids play, you know the future of our music is in good hands.”
Besides playing jazz at a level that belies their years, the students will talk with their Philadelphia peers about what jazz is, why it’s important to America, and how a jazz ensemble represents a perfect democracy. They also will discuss important values that jazz represents: teamwork, freedom with responsibility, unity with ethnic diversity, the correlation of hard work and goal accomplishment, and the importance of finding a passion early in life, being persistent, and believing in yourself. When young people hear this important message from kids their same age, they are more likely to listen.
The members of the all-star septet selected nationwide to participate in the Philadelphia tour include trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, 17, from New York; saxophonists Jasper Dutz, 17, and Jacob Shulman, 17, from Los Angeles; pianist Antonio Madruga, 17, from Miami; vibraphonist Joel Ross, 16, from Chicago; bassist Alex Warshawski, 16, from Montclair, NJ; and drummer Michael Mitchell, 17, from Dallas.
“We’re so looking forward to the trip,” said Madruga, a semi-finalist in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. “Learning Christian’s music has been seriously challenging, but it’s really helped get us to the next level.”
Immediately following the informances, McBride, Henry, and Dyas will conduct jazz workshops for each host school’s jazz band and choir in which the visiting students will play with their Philadelphia counterparts side-by-side, providing tutelage peer to peer. In so doing, they will teach and learn from one another not unlike Thelonious Monk did with his fellow musicians during the bebop era some 60 years ago. They’ll also learn about each other’s cities and culture.
“We’re especially looking forward to hanging out and playing jazz with kids from Philadelphia,” exclaimed Mitchell, who is already performing professionally. “We know that Philly is not only extremely important in American history, but jazz history as well.” Indeed, Philadelphia has produced such jazz luminaries as Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, Kevin Eubanks, Stan Getz, Benny Golson, Philly Joe Jones, and Jimmy Smith. It also served as home to McBride, himself, who attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, one of the stops on this tour.
The weeklong stint will include two shows open to the public on Friday, March 23 at Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom Street, where Philadelphia residents and visitors are invited to enjoy an evening of music with McBride and Henry alongside jazz’s future “young lions.”
The nonet will perform standards, jazz classics, and contemporary jazz, as well as compositions from McBride’s and Henry’s latest CD releases. Shows are at 8:00 and 10:00 PM. For more information call 215-568-3131 or visit www.chrisjazzcafe.com.
About THE ARTISTS & Educators
Christian McBride is one of the most versatile and virtuosic bassists on the scene today. He has performed and recorded with such jazz luminaries as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Roy Haynes, Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Pat Metheny, and Sonny Rollins, as well as such pop, rhythm ‘n blues, and soul icons as James Brown, Lalah Hathaway, Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Queen Latifah, Carly Simon, Sting, and The Roots. He has appeared at every major venue and jazz festival worldwide, and has recorded over 200 albums as leader, sideman, or guest artist. He also appeared in the 1996 Robert Altman film, Kansas City. The recipient of numerous national and international awards, McBride has been a perennial winner in DownBeat magazine’s annual Critics’ and Readers’ Polls, and recently won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for his recording, The Good Feeling. He is also one of the most gifted composer/arrangers of his generation and has received commissions from such entities as Jazz at Lincoln Center and the National Endowment for the Arts. Besides being an internationally acclaimed performer and composer, McBride is an esteemed jazz educator and has been a featured artist-in-residence at the Berklee College of Music, Brubeck Institute, Henry Mancini Institute, Jazz Aspen Snowmass Academy, and Stanford Jazz Workshop. He has served as the Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and urrently serves as Co-Director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem. www.christianmcbride.com
Lisa Henry is a dynamic vocalist with a combination of swingin’ cool and down home class. A Kansas City native, she began by singing gospel music in the Baptist church, and by age 12 was singing the music of Billie Holiday and Miles Davis. Henry was a winner of the 1994 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and was later named an International Jazz Ambassador to Africa. She toured Chile, Argentina, and Peru with the Institute in the 1990s, performing for 34 Heads of State at the Summit of the Americas. In 2006 she participated in a U.S. State Department-sponsored tour of India, and in 2007 she performed for an esteemed presidential dinner at the White House celebrating the Institute’s 20th Anniversary. Over the past 15 years Henry has toured the globe, sharing the stage with such artists as Kenny Barron, Gerald Clayton, Robin Eubanks, Kenny Garrett, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart, Ingrid Jensen, Kevin Mahogany, TS Monk, Lou Rawls, Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry, and Bobby Watson. Her latest recording, Live from 18th and Vine, has received critical acclaim. www.lisahenryjazz.com
Dr. J.B. Dyas has been a leader in jazz education for the past two decades. Formerly the Executive Director of the Brubeck Institute, Dyas currently serves as Vice President for Education and Curriculum Development at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles. He oversees the Institute’s education and outreach programs including Jazz in America: The National Jazz Curriculum (www.jazzinamerica.org), one of the most significant and wide-reaching jazz education initiatives in the world. Throughout his career, Dyas has performed across the country, taught students at every level, directed large and small ensembles, developed and implemented new jazz curricula, and written for national music publications. He has served on the Smithsonian Institution’s Task Force for Jazz Education in America and presented numerous jazz education events nationwide with such artists as Dave Brubeck and Herbie Hancock. Dyas received his master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami and PhD in Music Education from Indiana University, and is a recipient of the DownBeat Achievement Award for Jazz Education.
ABOUT THE PEER-TO-PEER JAZZ EDUCATION INITIATIVE
Through the national Peer-to-Peer Jazz Education Initiative, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute provides jazz combos comprised of music students from selected public performing arts high schools across the nation with week-long peer-to-peer jazz informance tours. The young musicians gain invaluable performance experience playing alongside internationally acclaimed artists while they, in turn, help educate young audiences in public schools throughout the U.S. about America’s indigenous musical art form.
2012 Philadelphia Peer-to-Peer Informance Schedule
Date Event Time Location
Monday, March 19 Assembly Program 12:00 pm Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts
Jazz Band Workshop 1:30 pm 901 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19147
Jazz Vocal Workshop 1:30 pm Principal: Johnny Whaley • 215-952-2462
Tuesday, March 20 Assembly Program 10:00 am Girard Academic Music Program
Jazz Band Workshop 1:00 pm 2136 Ritner St., Philadelphia, PA 19145
Jazz Vocal Workshop 2:30 pm Principal: Dr. Jack Carr • 215-952-8589
Wednesday, March 21 Assembly Program 10:10 am Northeast High School
Jazz Band Workshop 11:45 am 1601 Cottman Avenue., Philadelphia, PA 19111
Jazz Vocal Workshop 11:45 am Principal: Linda Carroll • 215-728-5018
Thursday, March 22 Assembly Program 10:40 am High School of the Future
Jazz Band Workshop 11:45 am 4021 Parkside Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Jazz Vocal Workshop 11:45 am Principal: Rosalind Chivis • 215-823-5500
Friday, March 23 Assembly Program 9:15 am Shawmont School
Jazz Band Workshop 10:40 am 535 Shawmont Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19128
Jazz Vocal Workshop 10:40 am Principal: Michael Graff • 215-487-4466
Concert (two shows) 8:00 pm Chris’ Jazz Cafe
10:00 pm 1421 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Talent Manager: Alan McMahon, 215-568-3131
For more information, full-length bios, and photos, please contact: JB Dyas at email@example.com or 323-270-3904.