U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona joined Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock to co-host a special virtual peer-to-peer jazz informance for students and educators across the United States and around the world, highlighting the extraordinary history and legacy of jazz as a healing, uplifting art form.
The session, organized in honor of Jazz Appreciation Month 2021 and the 10th Anniversary Celebration of International Jazz Day, included virtual performances by the Institute’s National Peer-to-Peer All-Star Jazz Septet along with an educational presentation by Institute Vice President of Education and Curriculum Development Dr. JB Dyas. Hancock and Secretary Cardona participated in a memorable 15-minute discussion on the importance of jazz as a tool for self-affirmation and self-expression.
“It takes a lot of courage to play jazz,” noted Hancock. “To not know exactly where you’re going to go, and then when that moment comes, to…jump off that cliff–that takes courage to do that. After a while, you kind of get used to that feeling of ‘it’s going to be ok,’ so it develops this spirit of being fearless. Everybody needs that.”
The April informance was offered as a free webinar in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education and with lead funding from United Airlines and the National Endowment for the Arts. The program attracted attendees from more than 30 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Finland, Indonesia, Japan and South Africa.
The full informance is available to watch below: