Jazz Foundation reaches out State grant: High school students will benefit from artists-in-residence program.

November 01, 1997

JAZZ IS America's classical music; its improvisation is a musical expression of freedom. Jazz broke free from New Orleans soil and burrowed deep in places like New York, Chicago, Kansas City and Baltimore. It is past time that public school students learn more about jazz.

Toward that end, the state education department is helping fund the first year of a Baltimore Jazz Foundation residency program at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts. The program kicks off with a Nov. 17 school concert. A jazz curriculum and model instructional program is being developed.

First-year costs are estimated at $54,000. The Jazz Foundation is soliciting donations for half that amount, with the state paying the rest. The money will pay for workshops, guest artist performances and purchase of musical instruments and audio equipment for students. The total cost of the four-year pilot project is $140,000. Send contributions to the Jazz Foundation, 3226 Midfield Road, Baltimore, 21208.

It's good to see the Jazz Foundation reaching out. Teaching young people is the best way to ensure jazz remains vibrant. With other local groups such as the Chamber Jazz Society, which sponsors concerts by important artists, the Baltimore Jazz Foundation is making sure this musical form isn't relegated to history. In a town that produced Billie Holliday, Eubie Blake and Cab Calloway, that's important.

Pub Date: 11/01/97

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