Are You Signed Up for Jazz Power On Summer Institute?

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                 Tom Dempsey, Institute Co-Chair                                                                                                            Shireen Dickson, Institute Co-Chair

This is a moment of intensive learning…

Dear JPI Friends,

This is a moment of intensive learning, examining and clarifying for so many of us. All of us – parents, teachers and artists in particular – understand our unique positions as facilitators. Despite the onslaught of profound upheaval, we face and embrace our evolving roles as navigators to those who look to us for guidance.

As the current issues America faces become both more complex and more inseparable, the urgency for inclusive and accessible tools and resources that reflect the times increases.

And yet, jazz has always been here, as an example of flow, fluidity…adaptability. In authentic formations of jazz, we effortlessly find recognition of the individual alongside collaboration, with empathy and responsibility for the collective. At Jazz Power Initiative, we place these and other transformative elements into a framework called JAZZ POWER TOOLS.

As always, this summer’s Jazz Power Institute (July 7-8) will offer inspirational training in cross-modal teaching methods for anyone looking to enhance their teaching practice through the lens of jazz history, arts and pedagogy. This year we also investigate strategies and tools for remotely engaging students from all backgrounds – now becoming a standard skill for so many of our classroom teachers, teaching artists and arts specialists. We will present master classes from Louise Robinson and Carol Maillard from Sweet Honey in the Rock, and author/educator Mick Carlson, along with jam sessions and fellowship with artists and educators from around the country!

Please share this opportunity with an artist or educator, or anyone who facilitates groups, that you know.

We hope you will consider bringing your experiences to our Institute training.

Shireen Dickson and Tom Dempsey

Jazz Power ON Summer Institute Co-Chairs

Register Now!

@JazzPowerON Summer Institute July 7-8, 2020

This year’s Jazz Power ONLINE Institute is produced in partnership once again with Lehman College, City University of New York, Department of Music, Multimedia, Theatre and Dance. NYC Department of Education Teachers are eligible for 8 hours of CTLE Credit in Content, and all participants will receive a certificate from Jazz Power Initiative.

July 7 and 8, 2020 10am-3pm

Online Conference (link will be distributed to registrants).

There is no charge, but all participants must register in advance to attend.

Jazz Power Institute ON

Our online-based Institute will address the theme of adaptability; providing strategies and online tools for remotely engaging students from all backgrounds in jazz. Multi-disciplinary master classes in voice, acting, writing, dancing and African American cultural history are part of our JPI training and pedagogy.

For more information: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Register Now!

About the Artists


Mick Carlon

Author and Educator
Mick Carlon’s Jazz novels—RIDING ON DUKE’S TRAIN; TRAVELS WITH LOUIS and GIRL SINGER (Leapfrog Press)—are now in the curriculum of 100+ schools in the USA, Mexico, France and Spain. A 37 year veteran public school teacher from Cape Cod, his books are introducing a new generation to the glories and stories of our music.

Mickey Davidson

Dancer and Educator
Dancer/Choreographer Mickey Davidson won an Audelco award for choreography of “For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” directed by Ntozake Shange. She joined Dianne McIntyre’s ground breaking “Sounds In Motion” in 1975 and danced with the company for eight years. She has worked closely with jazz artists Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, the World Saxophone Quartet and was mentored by original Savoy Ballroom dancers Frankie Manning and Norma Miller. A beloved New York veteran of arts education, Ms. Davidson has an extensive background in African American dance styles and led the African American Dance program at Wesleyan University for 17 years.
Tom Dempsey at Jazz Power Institute 2019

Tom Dempsey

Guitarist and Educator
Tom Dempsey has performed and/or recorded with a virtual “Who’s Who” of world renowned jazz musicians including: Wynton Marsalis, George Coleman, Kenny Barron, Roy Haynes and Bobby McFerrin. Currently he is Professor of Music at LaGuardia Community College and on the faculty at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has authored several books on jazz guitar and filmed hundreds of instructional videos inspiring students across the globe.

Shireen Dickson

Dancer and Educator
Shireen Dickson has been Jazz Power Initiative/The Jazz Drama Program choreographer-in-residence since the year 2000. She has worked in dance and arts education for over 20 years – as a performer, teaching artist, lecturer, curriculum developer, and NYC Dept of Education classroom teacher. In addition to directing the 25-year old Okra Dance Company (which presents programs featuring African American vernacular and world rhythmic and folk dances) Shireen has developed programs and presented for a diverse range of institutions including NY Dance Parade, Elizabeth Streb, Pilobolus, National Black Arts Festival, and United Federation of Teachers. Shireen is a founding member of the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance based at Duke University and directs their bi-annual international conference.
Carol Maillard at Jazz Power Institute 2019

Carol Maillard

Co-founding member of Sweet Honey in the Rock
Carol Maillard is one of the founding members of the Grammy Award-winning a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. She was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has performed in film, television, cabaret and on stage. Her theater credits on Broadway include DONT GET GOD STARTED , ITS SO NICE TO BE CIVILIZED, COMIN UPTOWN , HOME and EUBIE; off-Broadway with the Negro Ensemble Company, the New York Shakespeare Festival and at the Actors Studio and many regional theatre productions. Carol served as Conceptual and Creative producer for the 2005 documentary film SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: RAISE YOUR VOICE ! on the PBS series American Masters produced and directed by Stanley Nelson. The film chronicled SWEET HONEY’s 30th Anniversary year and Carol also produced the accompanying soundtrack.

Antoinette Montague

Vocalist and Educator
Antoinette Montague has a love of humanity and mission to bring joy to people through music, Antoinette has played at New York City’s major clubs and concert halls including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Kitano, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, and is a regularly featured favorite at the popular Harlem-based Jazz Mobile Concert Series. NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath says, “Antoinette has the instrument, delivery and enunciation, when performing, that touches my soul.” Her latest acclaimed release is World Peace in the Key of Jazz and features her arrangements of classic songs from the Civil Rights movement.
Louise Robinson at Jazz Power Institute 2019

Louise Robinson

Co-founding member of Sweet Honey in the Rock
Louise Robinson is one of the founding members of the Grammy Award-winning a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. She is a native New Yorker, studied concert bass for six years and attended the High School of Music and Art. A graduate of Howard University with a BFA, her professional career began at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. Louise accepted Robert Hooks’ invitation to become a member of the new, D.C. Black Repertory Company Acting Ensemble. It was out of this theatre company that Louise, along with Carol Maillard. Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Mie, formed the a cappella quartet, Sweet Honey In The Rock. Louise’s colorful career has taken her up many paths, including performances, both on and off-Broadway, and in film and studio recording. She has also worn the producer’s hat as she, along with Maillard and Smokey Ronald Stevens, produced A Sho Nuff Variety Revue, a series of performances showcasing some of New York’s finest talent, including Adolph Casear, Sandra Reeves Phillips, and legendary tap dancers Gregory Hines, Avon Long, and Joe Attles.
Jazz Power Initiave - Carol Maillard  & Louise Robinson

Eli Yamin

Co-founder and Managing Artistic Director of Jazz Power Initiative
Eli Yamin is the co-founder and Managing Artistic Director of Jazz Power Initiative. A pianist, composer, singer, and educator, Eli has been spreading the joy of jazz through his work for 30 years including 10 years as founding director of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy. Eli has published three jazz and blues musicals in four languages for young performers and a book, So You Want to Sing the Blues, published by Rowman and Littlefield in collaboration with the National Association of Teacher of Singing(NATS).


These books by Mick Carlon, guest artist at this year’s Jazz Power ON Summer Institute, bring you the genius of these African American artists, and the historically pivotal times they lived in, through the eyes of a 12 year old — and will inspire readers of all ages.

To register for the Jazz Power ON Summer Institute 2020, click here


Artists Resources

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Additional Resources

Our friends at Muse Machine of Ohio let us know of this excellent resource page for educators teaching anti-racism: Anti-racist resources for teachers.