Friday, May 12, 2017

Jazz & Civil Rights Show

Band leader and pianist Samora, plays for students during a Jazz and Civil Rights Show in the auditorium.

What does jazz music have to do with civil rights?  Students, teachers and parents assembled in the auditorium for the third and final assembly from the Jazz and Democracy Project.  The project helps the scholars make connections between democracy and jazz in a historical perspective. It is a music integrated curriculum that utilizes jazz as a metaphor to bring American democracy to life, enrich the study and teaching of U.S. history, government, civics and culture, and inspire youth to become active, positive contributors to their communities.

At this Jazz and Civil Rights Show, more than two hundred audience members learned about the origin of "Spirituals" and how they helped people in coping with the obstacles and struggles that came with the slavery experience. Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619.

As part of the Ellington P.R.I.D.E. Arts Series, organized by PS4's Arts Coordinator Mr. Cantu, students have been learning about the history of jazz music. When asked about how the arts help our students, Mr. Cantu said, "our students are able to make connections with everyday personal conflicts that they may have in their own lives..they find ways to cope with problems by using music or art".  To see photos from a Jazz & Democracy Show done in Novembers, click here!

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