Education Department Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month with Live Performances and Lessons on How Jazz Works

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In its fourth annual celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, on Friday the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Art Exhibit Program will host a jazz informance, a program of live performances that demonstrates how jazz works and how it represents the values of a perfect democracy - music, math and social studies all in one. Some of the best high school jazz players in the country will perform, as will one of the most accomplished jazz recording artists in the country, Baltimore-based alto saxophonist Antonio Hart.

The student jazz quintet features Evan Abounassar on trumpet, a junior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts; Isaiah Collier on tenor saxophone, a senior at Chicago High School for the Arts; Jamael Dean on piano, a senior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts; Jud Mitchell on bass, a senior at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts; and Jerome Gillespie on drums, a senior at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

The event will also feature J.B. Dyas, vice president for education and curriculum development at The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, who oversees the institute’s education and outreach programs, including Jazz in America, one of the most significant and wide-reaching jazz education initiatives in the world.

The Department’s Student Art Exhibit Program is now in its 13th year, and features visual, literary and performing arts created by students in U.S. and international schools, from pre-K through professional art school.