New York, NY, May 18, 2017 – The Jazz Power Initiative (formerly The Jazz Drama Program) will hold its Spring Benefit Gala — An Evening of Celebration and Song — on Wednesday, June, 7, 2017 from 7 – 9 PM at The Dimenna Center, New York (450 West 37th Street), it was announced today by Eli Yamin, the organization’s Managing and Artistic Director. The proceeds will sustain the efforts of The Jazz Power Initiative to transform lives through jazz arts education. Wine, beer and hors d'oeuvres will be served and guests will have an opportunity to interact with the artists and special guests.
This Special Event will honor Bob Dorough, a legendary jazz ambassador, composer, educator and creator of the seminal ABC-TV’s Schoolhouse Rock educational series; Barbara Murray, Director of Music, NYC Department of Education; and Kirk Imamura, Avatar Studios & former JPI Board member. The evening will be hosted by ABC newsman Ron Claiborne and will feature performances by Bob Dorough with Zah! Jazz Youth Ensemble.
"Some of the first jazz lyrics I, and millions of other children (and parents) heard were from BOB DOROUGH on Saturday mornings on Schoolhouse Rock. I can't wait to thank Bob in person for his inspiration and hope the audience will join us singing the chorus of Conjunction Junction, WHAT’S YOUR FUNCTION?,” says Eli Yamin.“ “BARBARA MURRAY has been a force for music education in New York City for decades and we are thrilled to honor her distinguished career upon her retirement from the Department of Education. KIRK IMAMURA joined the Board of Directors in 2010 and was the executive producer for three CDs of Jazz Drama Musicals at Avatar Studios. We are eternally grateful for his time, expertise and devotion to bringing the message of Jazz Power to audiences internationally!"
The Jazz Power Initiative was founded in 2003 as the Jazz Drama Program a 501(c)3) non-profit by jazz musician/ educator Eli Yamin and teacher/writer Clifford Carlson to involve and excite young people in and about the great American art form — JAZZ. To fully capture the transformational impact of the great work of the organization, its leadership, including Mr. Yamin and the Board of Directors and Advisors recently renamed itself The Jazz Power Initiative and refocused its mission: To ignite the power of jazz arts education to transform lives by fostering self-expression, leadership, collaboration and diversity.
“We believe JAZZ inherently offers invaluable lessons in self-expression, empathy, leadership, cooperation, out-of-the-box thinking, trust, respect and being present in the moment, “ says Yamin. “We believe nurturing these values in our youth and communities through the power of jazz arts education can make the world a better place. By creating new jazz musicals, recording CDs, distributing scores and scripts and offering professional development for teachers and workshops for students, The Jazz Power Initiative is building new audiences and stakeholders in the jazz arts through the media of storytelling, music, theatre, dance and visual arts. But, with the uncertain future of public arts funding, our ability to execute our mission and transform lives through Jazz Arts Education is at risk. This event is our major fundraiser for the year and private support is desperately needed so that we can continue and expand our program and build on the great successes we have already achieved.”
JPI is committed to promoting the humanitarian values of jazz and giving jazz artists including musicians, singers, dancers, actors and storytellers, meaningful platforms to create, share their knowledge and artistry, and pass it on. To date, JPI musicals have seen over 80 performances in fourteen states and five countries, involving thousands of young people and their families in sustained exposure and involvement in the jazz arts. Support for the organization goes towards training 100 young people and 40 teachers from 20 different schools in JPI methods, and initiating an ongoing jazz residency at the United Palace of Cultural Arts in Washington Heights.
Tickets to the Jazz Power Initiative Gala Benefit on Wednesday, June 7, are available by donations to The Jazz Power Initiative and are tax deductible. Here are the ticket packages:
Duke Ellington Level: $10,000 (includes ten tickets and other exclusive benefits)
Louis Armstrong Level: $5000 (ten tickets)
Ella Fitzgerald Level: $2500 (includes five tickets)
Dizzy Gillespie Level: $1000 (includes four tickets)
Mary Lou Williams Level: $500 (includes two tickets)
Jazz Friend/Single Ticket: $150 (includes single ticket)
To make donations on line (you can pay by credit card, check or Pay Pal), visit the following link