60 days of memorable encounters
celebrating jazz in community work,
education, and performance!

Why We Matter!
March culminated our 15-week residency at P.S 4 Duke Ellington Elementary School in Washington Heights, NYC, showcasing for a consecutive year the play Why We Matter, a rhythmic story of life, relationships and the influential women that raise us.

Voices and Rhythm premiered the young professional group Zah! Ensemble, and brought to the stage great collaborations with Dr. Dana Monteiro and Harlem Samba and Ruben de La Cortes, in a 2-day musical delight hosted in Harlem and Washington Heights.

We Got That Swing alright! A star-packed jam produced by Jazz Power Initiative in collaboration with Harlem School of the Arts, celebrated Jazz Appreciation Month and Duke Ellington’s Birthday, featuring five different musical acts, and special guests, 45 artists in all. See video here.

Why We Matter JPI Prep at P.S 4 Duke Ellington School, March 24th

Why We Matter, a rhythmic story of life, relationships and the influential women that raise us, written by Jose Cantu of PS4 based on a story developed with Jazz Power Initiative, celebrating cultural legacy, community, and honoring the work of inspirational women in the arts. JPI prep at P.S. 4 Duke Ellington School: Jose L Cantu, (P.S.4) Academy Coordinator/Theater; Annette A. Aguilar, (JPI) – Musical Director/Percussionist; Antoinette Montague, (JPI) – Voice Instructor; Sofia Tosello, (JPI) – Voice Instructor; Kim Holmes, (JPI) – Dance Instructor; Dr. Eli Yamin, (JPI) – Managing and Artistic Director. Special guest Mercedes Ellington!

Would you like to see more? Go to our new Photo Gallery at jazzpower.org/photogallery.

Photo credit: Jim Cummins

Voices & Rhythm Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center and National Jazz Museum in Harlem, April 20th and 23rd

Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam: Voices & Rhythm featured Dr. E (Eli Yamin), Zah! Ensemble with Joie St. Hubert, Esther Estrella, Melanie Giselle, Mimi Block, Kevin Zuniga, Angel Vives, Jordan Carr, and Jazz Power with special guests Annette A. Aguilar, percussion, Michael Blake, saxophone and flute, Rubens de La Corte, guitar, Jennifer Vincent, bass and Dr. Dana Monteiro and Harlem Samba, and celebrated the African diaspora through rhythms rooted in swing and samba.

Check out more photos at jazzpower.org/photogallery.

Photo credit: Dasha Dare and Alejandro Castro

Car-Free Earth Day 2023 St. Nicholas Avenue Stage, April 22nd

Nothing better than to celebrate music and advocacy with the family! We had a blast with our friends from the New York City Department of Transportation in their annual event Car-Free Earth Day, to promote activism and education around climate change and sustainability. Thank you Washington Heights for vibing with Dr. Eli and Jazz Power Band featuring Zah! and then joining the percussion workshop with JPI Community Artist-In-Residence Annette A. Aguilar.

Photo credit: Arlene RR

We Got That Swing! Harlem School for The Arts, April 29th

WE GOT THAT SWING! produced by Jazz Power Initiative’s Eli Yamin in collaboration with Harlem School of the Arts’ Lee Hogans, gathered some of the most gifted young musicians and singers from across the city in performance with legends. This special collaboration was part of JPI’s ongoing series Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam and included participation by award winning violinist Curtis Stewart, his father, Bob Stewart, the world-renowned tuba player, educator, and JPI Board Member, Kelvyn Bell, guitar, Lonnie Plaxico, bass, Dr. Dana Monteiro and Harlem Samba, Kevin Blancq and LaGuardia High School Brass students, HSA Advanced Jazz Band and vocalist, Armani Obregon, Dr. E, Zah! Ensemble and Jazz Power. Dorothy Maynor Hall at Harlem School of the Arts was packed with a vibrant audience that helped us celebrate with much enthusiasm Jazz Appreciation Month, Duke Ellington’s Birthday, and International Jazz Day! You can WATCH THE VIDEO on the link below.

Check out more photos at jazzpower.org/photogallery.

Photo credit: Jim Cummins

Highlight of the month:
Bobby Mcferrin

Bobby Mcferrin an award-winning composer, arranger, and bandleader and American folk and jazz singer, with an impressive quota of 10 Grammys under his belt (and counting). His voice is his power weapon, with outstanding beatbox and acapella skills that help him stand out from the rest. “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by McFerrin is a tune we all know and have come to love, ranking No. 1 U.S. pop hit in 1988 and winning Song of the Year and Record of the Year honors at the 1989 Grammy Awards.

McFerrin is a NEA Jazz Master, possesses a four-octave range, and can quickly switch from modal to falsetto register creating a mesmerizing polyphonic effect. His work includes collaborations with instrumentalists, including the pianists Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Joe Zawinul, the drummer Tony Williams, and the cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Photo credit: Bobby McFerrin Social Media

Bobby McFerrin - LIVE improvisation at the Kennedy Center

His Grammy accolades include but are not limited to: Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male for “Another Night in Tunisia” (1985), Best Recording for Children, “The Elephant’s Child” with Jack Nicholson (1987), Record of the Year, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” from the album Simple Pleasures (1988), Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2023) among others.

Artist Advice…

JPI veteran artists share how to follow in the footsteps of the greats…

Michael Blake, Saxophonist, Composer, Arranger

“Jazz musicians are smitten by the music because we all get to improvise. The essence of the art form allows us freedom to decide what to play or sing on the spot. I believe the number one aspect we all dig about jazz is that improvisation utilizes a common and singularly human trait: our imagination. In my teachings I’ve always emphasized that composing is just improvising slowed down. Every day when you practice, write down a musical motif that you hear. It doesn’t have to be developed into anything grand. Some ideas will stick and some won’t. It’s like exercise for our imaginations! “

Photo credit: Jim Cummins

The Jazz Power Youth program is possible thanks to funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, the Common Sense Fund, the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital; and our individual donors.
The Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam is possible in part thanks to funds from the Howard Gilman Foundation.
Our programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; the Miranda Family Fund, the Hispanic Federation; the Mosaic Network & Fund; TD Bank Charitable Foundation; New Music USA; and individual Contributors. Thank you!