Keeping classical & jazz alive one classroom at a time
by Linda A. Rapka
A self-proclaimed torchbearer for its uniquely innovative hybrid art, the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra proudly stands as the only orchestra in the nation dedicated solely to blending the worlds of jazz and classical music. Since its founding in 2001, the 67-piece orchestra has commissioned 13 new works and performed seven world premieres, along with three U.S. premieres. Each year SJO presents a free symphonic jazz concert for the community at the Carpenter Performing Arts center at Cal State Long Beach, and this year’s concert in March included a rare arrangement of “Rhapsody in Blue” with Grammy Award-winning pianist Bill Cunliffe. Continue reading
SJO: Music in the Schools
Orchestra brings music
education to inner-city youth
Musicians Take on Streaming at Motion Picture/TV Film Negotiations
Fight continues as contract is extended
Member Spotlight: Maki Mae Hsieh
Local 47 musician named 2019 Woman of the Year
Learn Orchestration This Summer – Free!
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Violinist Doug Cameron shares his eye-opening musical journey to the Caribbean nation
Editor’s Note: Cuban culture comes from a melting pot of cultures, primarily those of Spain and Africa, and their influences on the rhythmic flavors of the island’s music is unmistakable. After the 1959 revolution, the government pushed an expansive education campaign, offering free education to all and establishing rigorous music, sports and dance programs. With travel restrictions newly loosened to the lively Caribbean nation, Local 47 Member Doug Cameron recently accepted an invitation by National Symphony of Cuba conductor Enrique Pérez Mesa to spend 10 days working with the young musicians of Cuba. Deeply inspired by his 10-day adventure, Cameron shares the following account of his eye-opening journey.
By Doug Cameron
From the moment I stepped off the plane, I could tell I was in a different world. The signs, the excitement, and most of all, the music! As a jazz musician, it’s the music that attracts me to different parts of the world, and Cuba has always been number one on my list. I have always loved Latin and especially Cuban music. My CD “Mil Amores” was my tribute to this music and featured a lot of my original music written in a Latin style. I was invited to Cuba to by the conductor of the National Symphony of Cuba, maestro Enrique Pérez Mesa, to teach master classes and perform. Continue reading
First Lady Michelle Obama presented Project STEP with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, along with a $10,000 gift, in a ceremony at the White House on Nov. 10. Chosen from a national pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists, STEP is one of 12 programs across the country to receive this prestigious honor. Project STEP Executive Director Mary Jaffee and 11-year-old student Ajani Boyd traveled to the White House to accept the honor in person. Photo: Steven E. Purcell
Boston music program offers unique opportunities for minority students through music education
By Linda A. Rapka
If anyone can attest to the life-changing power of music, it’s 19-year-old Njeri Grevious.
She went from living out of a car to studying applied math at Yale thanks to her music studies at Project STEP, a rigorous, year-round Strings Training and Education Program based in Boston. Growing up in a divorced household, sometimes living with her single mother and two younger siblings out of their car, Grevious poured herself into her music studies at Project STEP. In doing so, she found a path to success during a childhood of obstacles. Continue reading