Hello, Jazz Power Friend.
This has been a very difficult week for our community here in New York City, and all across our country.
Sunday night at a peaceful protest of 500+ in our home of Inwood in Northern Manhattan, State Senator Robert Jackson, State Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, members of their staff and clergy spoke passionately about the necessity to dismantle racism in all aspects of our society. After saying the names of people who have died recently because of it, we sang the old hymn, Amazing Grace, first written in 1772 by a British reformed slave-trade ship captain, James Newton.
Afterward, over 500 of us quietly left the park, This is how the power of music can bring us together. In particular, African American music has healed – and challenged – us throughout our nation’s history, especially in times of crisis. It has given a public voice to those who have been excluded. It has also provided a sanctuary from the toxic fumes of hatred and fostered breathable cultural spaces, where people from all backgrounds can see and appreciate one another.
To further lift our spirits, we are spotlighting the “bebop” genius, saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker, born in 1920 in Kansas City, KS. Our next live streaming event, Charlie Parker 100: Jazz Power ON, features veteran saxophonist Knoel Scott, and will be hosted by me, on June 14th at 5pm.
Let’s keep looking out for one another, and the Jazz Power ON.
Join us for Charlie Parker 100: Jazz Power ON on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 5pm
Featuring Knoel Scott (saxophones), Bruce Edwards (guitar), Jennifer Vincent (bass), Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax (drums),and hosted by Eli Yamin (piano).
Our Youth Educations programs are continuing online with JPI theater teaching artist and Program Coordinator, Brian Fender, who has been providing weekly online instruction since March due to the COVID pandemic. One student is Enzo, an 8th Grader from Wheels Academy in Washington Heights, who has been participating in our Jazz Power Youth programs since the 6th grade! Here is Brian and Enzo, with the opening words of the Declaration of Independence.
This week we draw inspiration from the brilliant contemporary saxophonist and vocalist, Camille Thurman. Ms. Thurman performed with legendary pianist Kenny Barron at our 2019 Gala, and on our CD release of “Message From Saturn” in 2017. Here she is, with her own band, performing “Our Day Will Come.”