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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA


The Jazz Outreach Initiative (JOI) recently launched its Jazz for Young People Concert Series at Green Valley High School. The hour-long program spotlights a major figure in Jazz history and educates students on their life, their music, and their influence on Jazz music.

In honor of Black History Month, Jazz for Young People is currently spotlighting the life and music of pianist and composer, Thelonious Monk with the program “Who Is Thelonious Monk?” The program is performed by the JOI Jazz Sextet and features many of Monk’s famous songs, such as We See, Rhythm-a-ning, Stuffy Turkey, Bemsha Swing, and Well, You Needn’t.

The song We See features Patrick Hogan on piano and Patrick provides an example of how Monk would sometimes spontaneously get up and dance during one of his songs. The interactive portion of the program teaches the students about Monk as a composer.

The song Stuffy Turkey is analyzed as an example of how Monk composed a song by creating a memorable and meaningful theme. Students learned the melody and bridge in sections and then are asked to identify the difference between the two when played by the JOI Sextet. Students participate in question and answer segments about composing and improvising.

The program closes with a uptempo reprise of Rhythm-a-ning. The program was well-received at Green Valley High School and received a standing ovation.

The JOI Jazz Sextet is comprised of Adam Schroeder (saxophones), Jorge Machain (trumpet), Ilai Macaggi (trombone), Patrick Hogan (piano), Carlos Hoguin (bass), and Angelo Stokes (drums). Future performances include the following schools; Bishop Gorman High School, Foothill High School, Clark High School, Del Sol High School, and Democracy Preparatory Academy at Agassi Campus. Contact Jazz Outreach Initiative to have the program presented to your students.

Let’s Make A Difference!!

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