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Monday, August 1st, 2016

The Rockefeller Foundation Expands Partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center to Bring Jazz to Disadvantaged Youth in Urban School Districts Around the Globe

Jazz for Young People: The Resilient Cities Tour will bring the history of American Jazz to disadvantaged students in five Resilient Cities: New Orleans, Chicago, St. Louis,
San Juan and Sydney

Partnership pioneered in New York, will also be expanded
in New York City Schools

Partnership is the Foundation’s latest educational program that seeks to build resilience in cities across the world


NEW YORK— The Rockefeller Foundation and Jazz at Lincoln Center announced today the international expansion of their partnership to bring the transformative power of American jazz to disadvantaged youth in urban school districts across the globe. Funded with an additional $1 million grant from The Foundation, Jazz for Young People: The Resilient Cities Tour is expected to reach 9,000 new students by offering a curriculum that ties American history to jazz through live performance. The program will serve 60 new schools in five Resilient Cities: New Orleans, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Sydney, Australia. 

Jazz for Young People: The Resilient Cities Tour is based on Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Foundation’s innovative outreach program, Jazz for Young People on Tour, which was pioneered in New York City public schools. Since 2013, Jazz for Young People on Tour has presented more than 1,000 performances to a total student audience of more than 160,000 in grades K-12 in New York City, as well as Los Angeles, California; Detroit, Michigan; and Chicago, Illinois. The New York City program will also be a part of this expansion and will now reach an additional 3,000 students in 20 schools.

I couldn’t be more proud, as an educator and the president of The Rockefeller Foundation, that we are able to support innovative curricula that expands possibilities for young people,” said Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “As we have seen with our support for HAMILTON the Musical, experiential learning, is a proven – and critical – tool for enhancing public education and building urban resilience. Now with Jazz for Young People we have another great opportunity to open up young minds by showing them how jazz has inspired hope in the face of adversity.”

“The Rockefeller Foundation has been integral to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s efforts to provide education resources to more than 2.5 million students around the globe. They have been an important part of our family, supporting our mission over the last decade,” said Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. “Judith and I have spent countless hours discussing how arts and culture are crucial investments in human capital and welfare, especially during this time when the fundamentals of our society and our humanity are being put to the ultimate test. Through the foundation's generosity, we will have the opportunity to bring the unique lessons that jazz can teach us about resilience, adaptability, communication and cooperation into new communities of students and teachers.” 

“The arts are a critical part of a full and well-rounded education, " said New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Programs like Jazz for Young People have come to embody this idea by providing students with a unique educational experience in music, and in culture and history as well. I am so pleased that this program will continue to grow in New York City and across the world, and I thank Wynton Marsalis for his leadership, and the great partnership of Lincoln Center and the Rockefeller Foundation for their continued and meaningful support for our City’s schools and for arts education. I look forward to this program’s continued success.”

Jazz for Young People: The Resilient Cities Tour is designed for students with limited access to arts education in grades K-12. The program aims to offer participating students examples of how others have used music to wrestle with the enduring social struggles of urban life in the 21st century – particularly in cities where urban stresses have been especially prevalent, sometimes tearing at the social fabric of communities, yet are now on the road to resilience. The program will do this by illustrating the connection between jazz and democracy as well as the historical power of jazz to unite communities in a non-violent manner at moments of unrest. It will also foster relationships with local jazz musicians through live performances and mentorship. These positive influences will help students to develop necessary social-emotional tools intended to foster their individual resilience.

While curriculum may vary among cities, Jazz for Young People: The Resilient Cities Tour’s programming will consist of the following:

•      Live Jazz Performances. Each participating school receives three live performances across the course of an academic year. Each of the three concerts is performed for the same cohort of students, allowing them to develop a relationship with the music and musicians while building on their previous experience and knowledge, thus deepening the experience.

•      Developing the Skills of Local Artists. Local artists will be selected to serve as resident teaching artists and trained to deliver the program within their respective communities. Along with connecting and mentoring participating students, these teaching artists will have the opportunity to develop important teaching-skills, allowing them to adapt to and participate in an ever-changing educational economy.

•      Professional Development. Participating teachers are required to take part in a professional development program to train them to deliver lesson content and integrate the program into classroom activities reinforcing the concepts during regular classroom sessions.

Jazz for Young People: The Resilient Cities Tour is part of The Foundation’s ongoing efforts to use innovative educational partnerships to teach resilience in the face of adversity in communities worldwide. Just last mouth, The Foundation announced its $6 million expansion of its collaboration with HAMILTON The Musical and #EduHam, that will now bring 100,000 disadvantaged students nationwide to see the show, experience history and inspire them to create through interaction with cast members. 

"Through the Jazz For Young People program, I am able to inspire New York City students and show how as a community we can use music to bring people together, share our life stories, uplift communities and be a voice of change and hope,” said Camille Thurman, a New York City-based saxophonist who has worked with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz for Young People program for four years.


Contact Info:

The Rockefeller Foundation: Stephanie Reichin, 617-549-3745 or SReichin@SKDKnick.com

Jazz at Lincoln Center: Zooey T. Jones, zjones@jazz.org

New York City Department of Education: Michael Aciman, (212) 374-6623 or MAciman@schools.nyc.gov