By last minute invitation, a couple of weeks ago, I attended a musical fundraiser and was surprised to find that the program is based right here in our neighborhood! JazzED (pronounced jazz ed) is taught out of the FAME at MLK Community Center.
My host and table captain at the event was JazzED’s new board member Harold Brandford. Harold was recruited by his neighbors to become involved and make a contribution to the community. Harold was born and raised in Barbados. He moved to the USA in his late teens for his advanced education. With a bit of hard work and encouraged by the kindness and generosity of wonderful mentors along the way, he has achieved a good measure of success, working as a physician in the Seattle area for the past 38 years. He sees his involvement in JazzED as an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of kids who might otherwise be denied a chance for music education.
JazzED is a fantastic and successful extracurricular music program. It was founded in 2010 by an enthusiastic group of volunteers that wanted to provide music education to anyone in any school regardless of finances. The beloved Clarence Acox of Garfield Jazz fame was the founding music director and continues to be involved.
The music instruction bridges the gap between school-based classes and private lessons. Local experienced professional musicians lead the bi weekly group lessons and many instruments are donated from a variety of sources including most recently, Amazon.
The students range from grades 4–12 and are drawn from 70 different schools in the Puget Sound area. JazzED is currently serving 600 students a year. Commitment to diversity is a primary goal. 50% of the students are girls, 42% students of color, and 40% are receiving scholarship assistance.
Students may choose from Choir, Strings, Brass, and Woodwinds. Additionally, audition-based ensembles for Big Band, Orchestra, and Vocals are on offer. A jazzy field trip to New York City is planned for this coming June. WOW!
Thinking that live music may catapult your next party into a fabulous experience? Look no further! All Star Combos are available for bookings.
Truthfully, there are just too many JazzED opportunities and events to describe here. Your best bet is to peruse the beautiful JazzED website: seattlejazzed.org
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