Through the Performing Arts High Schools Jazz Program, the Institute brings respected jazz musicians and educators into 12 public performing arts high schools in ten cities across the country to provide intensive jazz training for exceptionally gifted and motivated student musicians. This specialized performance-based program enables students to participate in small combos and receive instruction in theory, composition, improvisation, history, and styles, preparing them to attend leading college, university, and conservatory music programs. The program offers students the opportunity to participate in a highly specialized performance-based jazz curriculum, study with some of the world’s most eminent jazz artists, and perform in jazz combos comprised of their peers.
The Institute provides the performing arts high schools with consultation regarding curriculum development and instructional methodology, periodic residencies by Institute staff, high-profile performance opportunities, and visiting guest artists and educators, as well as private lessons for each participant. In addition, the Institute invites combos from selected schools to participate in weeklong Peer-to-Peer Jazz Education Tours in which the students perform with renowned guest artists in public high schools across the nation. The visiting students perform at assembly programs and conduct jazz workshops, playing alongside their like-instrument counterparts and providing hands-on tutelage peer to peer. Of particular importance, they teach their peers about the values jazz represents: teamwork, unity with ethnic diversity, and freedom with responsibility. Each tour culminates with a public concert, providing invaluable performance experience for the participating students.
The Performing Arts High Schools Jazz Program is offered at:
- Chicago High School for the Arts
- Gallery 37 Center for the Arts (Chicago)
- Duke Ellington School of the Arts (Washington, DC)
- High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Houston)
- LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (New York City)
- Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts (Los Angeles)
- Los Angeles County High School for the Arts
- New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
- New World School of the Arts (Miami)
- Arts High School (Newark)
- Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Dallas)
- Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts
Recent highlights of the Washington, DC program include master classes led by pianist Danilo Perez, guitarist Stanley Jordan, and saxophonist Branford Marsalis. Students have performed at the U.S. Capitol, at a reception for the Congressional Black Caucus, at the Department of Education, and at the DC Jazz Festival. Los Angeles highlights include master classes conducted by pianist Kenny Barron, guitarist John Scofield, saxophonist Jimmy Heath, and trombonist Steve Turre. Students performed for tens of thousands of people at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Staples Center. A highlight of the New York City program was an assembly for more than 800 students led by saxophonist Bobby Watson and trumpeter Terell Stafford. Overall, the program continues to have a tremendous impact on both the participating students and the community.
Through the Performing Arts High Schools Jazz Program, the Institute will ensure that the most gifted young jazz musicians from across the United States go on to become the preeminent jazz musicians of the 21st century.