CHiCA Power Returns for the 2nd Year!


A Free All-Girl Instrumental Program For Women’s History Month

Jazz House Kids , a nationally-recognized arts organization with a mission to transform young lives through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship, is once again hosting 40-50 young women musicians at “CHiCA Power,” a special five-week instrumental residency during Women’s History Month.  Held Sunday afternoons in March from 1:00 pm to 3:45 pm at the Jazz House in Montclair, the CHiCA Power Residency® is part of Jazz House Kids’ ongoing mission to close the gap in arts education, giving young women musicians an artistic edge and the tools needed to break down barriers to a life-long love of playing jazz.  Free for young women ages 12 to 18 with at least one year of experience on their instruments and the ability to read music, the residency is funded by continued support from the Montclair Fund for Women, Susan and Chris Gifford, the Northeasterners, the New Jersey Northeasterners, and other generous donors.

Led by lead female instructors with assistance from several Jazz House Kids alumna, each week the CHiCA Power Residency will feature world-renowned women instrumentalists as special guests.  Students will learn about jazz pioneers such as Mary Lou Williams, Melba Liston, Shirley Scott and Marian McPartland and study present day jazz icons such as Esperanza Spalding, Tia Fuller, Anat Cohen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Geri Allen. The participants will break out into ensembles by level, learning compositions by female jazz artists. A final concert will be performed at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair on April 5th.

Lead teachers and guest artists this year include: Nicki Denner, Jennifer Vincent, Lauren Sevian, Colleen Clark, Adi Meyerson, Luciana Padmore, Camille Thurman, Gabrielle Murphy, Ingrid Jensen, Shirazette Tinnin, and more.

“Our mission at Jazz House Kids is to empower all young people to play and appreciate jazz, and we’d like to see more young women in our ensemble programs sharing this music,” said Melissa Walker, President & Founder of Jazz House Kids.  “While it is common to see a large representation of girls participating in school orchestras and band programs, this is not often the case with jazz bands, where the majority of participants are boys.  Our CHiCA Power Residency will provide young women instrumentalists with the mentoring, confidence and skills needed to bridge the gap to jazz.  More female representation at the jazz table!”

The Chica Power Residency is just one piece of Jazz House Kids’ Young Women in Jazz Initiative, which supports young women’s continued success.  Funded in part by Montclair Fund for Women, this initiative provides young women with private lessons plus need-based tuition assistance to study at the Jazz House and participate in the nationally recognized Jazz House Summer Workshop.  Last May, trailblazing percussionist Sheila E. conducted a riveting workshop and Q&A with Chica Power participants at the Jazz House.  Renowned clarinetist Anat Cohen and accomplished saxophonist Tia Fullerare among the special guests who have led all-female master classes at theJazz House Summer Jazz Workshop.  Girls represented 23% of the campers in 2015.

“My favorite part of Chica Power was meeting women who play jazz ,” said a 2015 residency participant.  “I really enjoyed meeting other girls that I could play jazz music with. I also enjoyed learning new music and discovering famous women that play jazz.”

“While we can measure our progress more girls in our programs each year, we still have a long way to go,” said Walker.  “Jazz House Kids’ CHiCA Power Residency and other programs reaching out to young women will help crack the glass ceiling for the next generation of female jazz musicians.”

For more information about the Chica Power residency and workshop, or call 973-744-2273.

To sign up, CLICK HERE.