In 2015, KRTU launched a new pilot of its Growing Jazz initiative, which brings experienced jazz musicians into schools for workshops, mentoring, and inspiration! Sponsored by Twang Partners Ltd., the program staged six performances for 350 middle school students at Gus Garcia, Harlandale, Terrell Wells, and Kingsborough Middle Schools between May 14 and June 2.
Designed to cultivate appreciation of jazz as an art force and ensure accessibility of jazz music for youth of all ages, pianist Mark Little, saxophonist Bill King and music educator Toro Flores performed with students while encouraging other students to sign up to join their respective school's jazz bands for the next school year. Other local musicians that volunteered their time, talent and passion included trumpeter Al Gomez and saxophonist Richard Oppenheim.
Toro Flores acted as the lead music director for Growing Jazz 2015 and is the Kingsborough Middle School Band Director. He shares, "I hope that Growing Jazz expands our children's knowledge of our world and culture and helps to bring forward music education in our schools."
We look forward to sharing more about Growing Jazz over the coming school year, and appreciate the support of all of our members who make community initiatives like this possible.