I’m so glad to say that the long-overdue launch of this new jazz school/organization, founded by my longtime musical associate Mark Davis, has finally taken place! The Milwaukee Jazz Institute, or MJI as we call it, is an official non-prof as of a few weeks ago, and has begun its educational and performance-oriented work—and I’m proud to part of its inaugural faculty, along with Mark and other esteemed colleagues, mostly within the group known as We Six, with whom I’ve worked closely for so long. Ensemble instruction has been underway, involving both über-talented teens and extra-enthused adults. And I had the pleasure of teaching the institution’s first one-hour music appreciation workshop on Thursday, March 12, in the fun and comfy surroundings of the Jazz Estate, followed immediately by a live gig at the same spot with the trio of trumpeter Eric Jacobson (also our Education Director). Like everyone else in our society, we may have hit a bit of a bump in the road in this pandemic crisis, with our first annual Jazz Festival postponed indefinitely, and a few other things on hold as well. But such will return in full glory, including classes, camps, festivals, and concert events—and I expect I may be following through with our next jazz listening session online. Stay tuned for further news about MJI and its activities!
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