A Free All-Girl Instrumental Program For Women’s History Month
Jazz House Kids, a Montclair-based nonprofit that has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent arts education and performance organizations, announces “CHiCA Power,” a special instrumental residency for young female musicians. Held each Sunday afternoon in March from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 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 girls ages 12 to 18 with at least one year of playing experience and the ability to read music, the residency is funded by ongoing support from the Montclair Fund for Women, with additional support from Nancy Northup and James Johnson in memory of a Jazz House Kids parent, and other generous donors. Pre-registration is required.
Led by two accomplished musicians and educators, bassist/cellist Jennifer Vincent and pianist/composer Nicki Denner, the CHiCA Power Residency will feature several world–renowned women instrumentalists on today’s jazz scene 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, Regina Carter, Anat Cohen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Geri Allen. Each week, the participants will break out into ensembles by level, learning compositions by female jazz artists.
“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 new 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 the newest addition to 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 August, renowned clarinetist Anat Cohen led a special masterclass for the female musicians, who represented about 24% of the 131 campers.
“While we can measure our progress with 68% more girls in our programs in 2014 than 2013, 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 and to register for the Chica Power residency and workshop, click here or call 973-744-2273.