Featuring Internationally Renowned Recording Artists SEAN JONES and LISA HENRY
Weeklong series of events includes 2 performances open to the public at Blues Alley in Washington, DC on May 27
Washington, DC – With lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and United Airlines, the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz will bring its Peer-to-Peer jazz education program to Virginia public schools May 22-26, 2023. Combining performance with educational information, these “informances” will be presented by the Institute’s National Peer-to-Peer Jazz Sextet, comprising six of the country’s most gifted high school music students. They will be featured alongside internationally acclaimed trumpet recording artist Sean Jones, Kansas City jazz and blues vocalist and a former winner of the Institute’s International Jazz Vocals Competition Lisa Henry, and renowned jazz educator Dr. JB Dyas. Each school visit will include an assembly program featuring a musical performance for all students, followed by workshops for each school’s jazz band and choir with the visiting student performers playing alongside and sharing ideas with their Virginia counterparts.
“We’ve found that sometimes young people can learn about certain things better from kids their same age, and one of them is jazz,” said jazz great Herbie Hancock, Institute Chairman, NEA Jazz Master, and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “And when you hear how accomplished these musicians are at such a young age, you know their peers are going to listen.”
Besides playing jazz at a level that belies their years, the students will talk with their Virginia peers about what jazz is, why it’s important to America, and how a jazz ensemble represents a perfect democracy. They also will discuss the important American values that jazz represents: teamwork, unity with ethnic diversity, the correlation of hard work and goal accomplishment, perseverance, and the importance of finding a passion early in life, being persistent, and believing in yourself. When young people hear this important message from kids their same age, they are often more likely to listen.
The members of the all-star sextet selected nationwide to participate in the Virginia tour include saxophonist Leo Milano (18) from Chicago; trombonist Evan Dexter (17) from Los Angeles; guitarist Leo Sandoval (17) from Houston; bassist Camara Dupree (17) from New Orleans; and pianist Jose Andre Montano (17) and drummer Kevin Kearney (17) from Washington, DC. “I had the wonderful opportunity of performing with Mr. Jones along with US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona last year at the US Department of Education,” said Montano, who also was selected to this year’s Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra with which he’ll tour Europe this summer with Jones. “I can’t wait to play with and learn from him again.”
Immediately following the informances, Jones, Henry, and Dyas will conduct jazz workshops for each host school’s jazz band and choir. The visiting students will play side-by-side with their Virginia counterparts, providing tutelage peer to peer. In so doing, they will teach and learn from one another not unlike what Herbie Hancock did with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, and so many other eminent jazz artists over half a century. They’ll also learn about each other’s cities and cultures.
“I’m really looking forward to spending a week in Virginia,” added Dupree. “I can talk about the historic city of New Orleans, and the Virginia kids can tell me all about the historic cities of Williamsburg, Richmond, and Charlottesville.”
The weeklong tour will include two shows open to the public on May 27 at the iconic Washington, DC jazz club, Blues Alley (1073 Wisconsin Ave NW), where DC residents and visitors are invited to enjoy an evening of music with Jones and Henry alongside jazz’s future “young lions.” The octet will perform standards, jazz classics and contemporary jazz, including tunes from Jones’ and Henry’s latest recordings. Shows begin at 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. For further information, call 202-337-4141 or visit https://www.bluesalley.com.
Virginia Peer-to-Peer Jazz Informance, Concert, and Workshop Schedule
|Mon, May 22||9:10 am||MEDIA DAY||Jamestown High School, 3751 John Tyler Hwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185|
|9:10 am||Assembly Program/Concert||Jamestown High School, 3751 John Tyler Hwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185|
|11:00 am||Jazz Band and Vocal Workshops||Jamestown High School, 3751 John Tyler Hwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185|
|Tue, May 23||9:10 am||Assembly Program/Concert||Warhill High School, 4615 Opportunity Way, Williamsburg, VA 23188|
|11:00 am||Jazz Band and Vocal Workshops||Warhill High School, 4615 Opportunity Way, Williamsburg, VA 23188|
|Wed, May 24||10:45 am||Assembly Program/Concert||Thomas Jefferson High School, 4100 W Grace St, Richmond, VA 23230|
|12:45 pm||Jazz Band and Vocal Workshops||Thomas Jefferson High School, 4100 W Grace St, Richmond, VA 23230|
|Thu, May 25||10:45 am||MEDIA DAY||Huguenot High School, 7945 Forest Hill Ave, Richmond, VA 23225|
|10:45 am||Assembly Program/Concert||Huguenot High School, 7945 Forest Hill Ave, Richmond, VA 23225|
|12:45 pm||Jazz Band and Vocal Workshops||Huguenot High School, 7945 Forest Hill Ave, Richmond, VA 23225|
|Fri, May 26||9:30 am||MEDIA DAY||Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901|
|9:30 am||Assembly Program/Concert||Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901|
|11:00 am||Jazz Band and Vocal Workshops||Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901|
|Sat, May 27||7:00 pm||Concert Open to the Public||Blues Alley Jazz Club, 1073 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007|
|9:00 pm||Concert Open to the Public||Blues Alley Jazz Club, 1073 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007|
For more information, full-length bios and photos, or to schedule an interview with the artists and/or students, please contact: JB Dyas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-270-3904.
Download the press release here.