The sensation of Jazzistry remains with any audience that experiences it, from age eight to eighty. The live performance has unmatched energy. History is vividly brought to life. The music is arousing because it is rooted in our collective American psyche. This is a performance that everyone enjoys!
Elements of a Jazzistry School Program
Teacher In-Service Workshop
Jazzistry creates, adapts and models creative approaches to standard content areas through collaborative partnerships with the teachers we serve. More than a school assembly, Jazzistry engages teachers and school leaders in planning and coordination meetings to expand our connections to the curriculum. Prior to the band’s presentation, York and Tasha Lebow, founding board member and retired University of Michigan educator, meet with teachers to explain Jazzistry’s alignment with state and national curriculum standards. These conversations allow us to incorporate direct connections in the Jazzistry Presentation to the core curriculum. Memorable Artist Visits occur when York co-teaches beyond history and music classrooms–bridging into science, math, world languages and art content. Many teachers and students report that Jazzistry is their first exposure to cross-discipline connections and deep multicultural content related to US history.
Before the Band arrives, these sessions take Jazzistry deeper and prepare students for the program. An Artist in Residence Visit is the foundation that prepares listeners to fully embrace the experience of the Jazzistry Presentation. The visit is an hour-long session with a Jazzistry musician and his or her instruments. It’s a hands-on experience with lots of music, student participation, singing, storytelling, all multi-media enhanced. It helps the students cultivate a personal relationship with our history and shows them how we are benefiting from our multicultural heritage. This is the first step in expanding how students view our society. Depending on the school size and project plans, there are typically 3-5 Artist Visits per school.
Jazzistry Band Presentation: “The Mothership”
The centerpiece of the program is the professional six-piece Jazzistry Band which transforms school auditoriums. The ensemble is composed of the finest jazz musicians in the region. Their 45-90 minute performance (geared to the age of the students) is a fast-paced, multi-media enhanced, educational experience that moves through 400 years of American history and culture, using the story of jazz as its vehicle. This presentation showcases the evolution of America’s indigenous music, emphasizing America’s multicultural strengths.