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The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz will present its “Peer-to-Peer” jazz and blues education program at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on April 8 beginning at 9:30 AM. To ensure seat reservations for several Delta-area schools, this performance is closed to the public and available for school groups only.
Combining performance with educational information, the “informance” will be presented by six exceptionally gifted music students from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts who participate in the Institute’s National Performing Arts High School Jazz Program. They will be featured with jazz icon, 14-Time Grammy Award-Winner, and NEA Jazz Master Herbie Hancock, internationally acclaimed jazz trumpeter and Grammy winner Ingrid Jensen, blues vocal sensation and former winner of the Monk Institute International Jazz Vocal Competition Lisa Henry, and renowned music educator Dr. J.B. Dyas.
Besides playing at a level that belies their years, the students will talk with their Mississippi peers about what jazz is, why it’s important to America, and how a jazz ensemble represents a perfect democracy. They also will discuss important American values that jazz represents: teamwork, freedom with responsibility, unity with ethnic diversity, the correlation of hard work and goal accomplishment, and the importance of finding a passion early in life, being persistent, and believing in yourself. Jazz also represents the vital importance of really listening to one another. When young people hear this important message from kids their same age, they tend to listen.
The six Los Angeles students selected to perform include saxophonist Aaron Shaw, 17; trombonist Kalia Vandever, 17; guitarist Luca Ferrera, 17; pianist Heather Rivas, 17; bassist Sarah Kuo, 18; and drummer Adrian Cota, 17.