Department of Education Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month Featuring Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz with Performances and Democracy Lesson

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In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, the Education Department’s Student Art Exhibit Program will host its second annual jazz program, featuring J.B. Dyas, vice president for education and curriculum development at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Newark’s Arts High School Jazz Combo and jazz recording artist Terell Stafford. The event is an informational performance, an informance, that will demonstrate the values of jazz as they reflect the values of the U.S.

Dyas will direct a student jazz quartet from Arts High School in Newark, N.J., the oldest performing arts high school in the country. The students will play various styles of jazz and talk with the audience about what jazz is, why it is important to America and how a jazz ensemble represents a perfect democracy. They will also provide further insight into important American values that jazz represents, such as teamwork, unity with ethnic diversity, the correlation of hard work and goal accomplishment, and the importance of listening to one another. Stafford, director of jazz studies and chair of instrumental studies at Temple University and trumpeter, will also perform with the students and participate in the informance.

In addition, Acting General Counsel Phil Rosenfelt will give remarks, sharing the effect of last year’s event on the meanings of jazz.

The Student Art Exhibit Program is now in its 11th year. It features visual art created by students in U.S. and international schools, as well as performing arts. It provides students and teachers an opportunity to display creative work from the classroom and promote art as an effective path to learning and knowledge.