What Happens To A Dream

A devised theatre work by Jazz Power Initiative’s advanced youth ensemble, Zah! Jr. directed by Kena Onyejekwe with musical direction by Eli “Dr. E” Yamin jazz and blues band ft. Zaid Nasser, saxophone, Elias Bailey, bass, and David F. Gibson, drums. In honor of Black History Month and inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and Langston Hughes, this work amplifies the dreams of today’s NYC youth uptown from Washington Heights, Harlem and Inwood and features performances of songs from the Civil Rights Movement as well as classic blues and jazz and topical original songs.

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Audience type:

General audience


Eli Yamin, Musical Director and Pianist
Kena Onyejekwe, Theatre Director and Vocalist
Zaid Nasser, Ft. artist, saxophone
Elias Bailey, bass
David F. Gibson, drums
Dylan Rodriguez, Zah! Jr.
Iker Bailon, Zah! Jr.
Xiomara Washington, Zah! Jr.
Danny Bailon, Zah! Jr.
Elliot Duran, Zah! Jr.
Amelia Thomas, Zah! Jr.
Jacob Perez, Zah! Jr.
Leilani Gonzalez, Zah! Jr.
Aiden Mayaan, Zah! Jr.
Lia Nuñez-Naparstek, Zah! Jr.

Company Name

Jazz Power Initiative

About the Company:

Jazz Power Initiative is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 2003. Jazz Power serves thousands of New Yorkers and visitors annually – students, teachers, artists, and general audiences, ages 8-80+, to build more creative and inclusive communities through jazz music education and performance. Led by highly experienced teaching and performing artists who are award-winning jazz music and performing arts professionals, JPI offers multidisciplinary  raining, scholarships and performance opportunities to individuals of all ages, from various economic and social milieu, at low or no cost. JAzz Power Musicals have been performed world-wide in 4 languages, and in New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center, United Palace, National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and most recently at Jazzmobile/Summer Stage in Marcus Garvey Park.

Regarding the director or directors:

Eli “Dr. E” Yamin, c0-founder, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz Power Initiative, musical director for What Happens To A Dream. Award winning pianist, composer, singer, producer and educator, spreads the joy of jazz through his 30 year work including eight CD’s and three youth centered jazz musicals presented internationally in four languages. Dr. E has performed at The White House, Carnegie Hall, and over 20 countries as a cultural ambassador. He wrote So You Want to Sing the Blues, published by Rowman and Littlefield in partnership with the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Kena Onyejekwe, theatre teacher, director and co-creator of What Happens To A Dream, actor and musician whose credits includes co-writing, co-producing, and performing lead vocals for the album WE ARE by Stylophonic. Regionally he has performed in Marley at Center Stage in Baltimore and To Kill a Mockingbird at Virginia Public Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. His film and TV appearances include the film Begin Again. Alum of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and for the past fifteen years, he has created and facilitated several theater productions and education programs throughout the New York City area.