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Jazz Speaks
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Jazz Speaks

Recommended For: Grades 6-12; Corporate team-building

Artists: Larry McKenna, saxophone; Luke Carlos O’Reilly, keyboard; Arturo Stable, percussion; Yolanda Wisher, poetry, voice

Length: 75 minutes

Related Subjects: Music, U.S. History, Language Arts

Traces the journey of jazz: it’s origins, styles and various ways jazz “speaks,” including connections to Latin culture and influence on spoken word poetry.

Sign-Up Form

  • This form is for inquiry purposes only, and does not guarantee participation. A member of our staff will contact you to coordinate schedules based on seat availability, age range, etc.

  • Schools Only

Curriculum Resources

Bridge Sessions easily intersect with state standards for music education, as well as standards for many other classroom subjects. Although no advance preparation is necessary to attend, we encourage teachers to connect Bridge Sessions back to your classrooms. Please contact us if any additional information would be helpful.

Musical Genres
Jazz, Afro-Cuban, spoken word poetry, R&B, hip-hop

Instruments
Saxophone, keyboard, percussion, voice

Music You’ll Hear
Black Mountain Blues (Bessie Smith)
The Weary Blues (poem by Langston Hughes)
Mood Indigo (Duke Ellington)
Walking Parker Home (poem by Bob Kaufman)
Yardbird Suite (Charlie Parker)
Afro Blue (Mongo Santamaría)
Cat Scat Wisher (poem by Yolanda Wisher, set to music by Killer Joe)
Jazz is My Religion (poem by Ted Joans, set to music by Digable Planets)

Key Vocabulary
Blues
Harlem Renaissance
Beatnik
Bebop
Syncopation
Afro-Cuban jazz

Themes

  • History and evolution of jazz in the U.S. over the past 100 years, from blues to Harlem Renaissance to the Beatnik era to
  • Bebop through present-day R&B and hip-hop
  • Influence of jazz on Afro-Cuban music
  • Connections between music and written language