Thelonious Monk Institute's "Jazz in the Classroom" Students Participate in White House Music Series on June 15


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Institute students from six cities across the nation to attend workshops with jazz masters and Duke Ellington Jazz Festival concert honoring Ellis Marsalis

(Washington, DC -- The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is honored to participate with Mrs. Michelle Obama in the launching of the White House Music Series. The program will shine a national spotlight on music education, highlighting the important role music plays in the creativity and innovation that make this country great. Talented music students who receive free jazz instruction through the Institute will visit the White House on Monday, June 15. They will participate in “Jazz Studio" educational workshops that celebrate this uniquely American art form. The students will learn from and interact with some of the world's most renowned jazz musicians, including Branford, Ellis, and Wynton Marsalis.

“The powerful force known as jazz is recognized in all corners of our planet as America's indigenous music and the voice of democracy," said Herbie Hancock, Chairman of the Institute. “The very spirit of our young people is uplifted by our music and arts education community, whose tireless support has ensured that the heart and soul of our nation will flourish."

The Institute is pleased to bring more than 30 high school students from its “Jazz in the Classroom" program to participate in the Jazz Studio workshops. Students are from: Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, Chicago; Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas; Eagle Rock High School, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and Washington Preparatory High School, Los Angeles; New World School of the Arts, Miami; New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans; and LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, New York City.

Institute students will also attend the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival concert honoring pianist, composer and educator Ellis Marsalis, who also serves on the Institute's advisory board, on Monday, June 15 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The White House has brought together a number of organizations to participate and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is proud to collaborate with the following: Duke Ellington Jazz Festival; Duke Ellington School of the Arts; Jazz at Lincoln Center; Levine School of Music; New Orleans Center for Creative Arts; Sitar Arts Center; WPAS Capital Jazz Project.


Monday, June 15th: First Lady Michelle Obama will introduce the White House's music series which will feature artists of all ages who will perform, educate and interact with young people. The series will begin with Jazz Studio on Monday followed by Country and Classical music events this summer and fall. On Monday, 150 students will participate in classes led by Jazz experts including Wynton, Branford and Ellis Marsalis, they will then attend a concert featuring Jazz greats, Paquito D'Rivera and child proteges Tony Madruga with his ensemble. This event will be pooled press.

WHAT: The Jazz Studio workshop themes include exploration of the core elements of jazz: American History and Jazz; The Syntax of Jazz; Improvisation; The Blues Experience and Jazz; Duke Ellington and Swing. The audience will include 150 instrumental middle school and high school students from the collaborating organizations.The Jazz Studio culminates with a concert featuring Paquito D'Rivera, Artistic Director of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival with Tony Madruga, Zach Brown, Kush Abadey and Elijah Easton.

WHERE: The White House, East Room, State Dining Room, Diplomatic Reception Room

WHEN: Monday, June 15, 2009; 1:30-3:30pm


The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit jazz education organization, was founded in 1986 in memory of the legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk. The Institute fosters the next generation of jazz greats by offering the world's most promising young musicians college level training by internationally recognized jazz masters, educating young people around the world about jazz through innovative public school initiatives, and presenting a wide range of programs that help expand and perpetuate America's indigenous musical art form.

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