Jazz House Kids with NEA Jazz Master Lou Donaldson
Jazz House Kids (JHK) is a community-based arts organization that provides year-round musical, educational, and cultural programs to students in grades K-12, teachers, adults, and families from diverse backgrounds. What started as a straightforward idea nearly 10 years ago for professional jazz vocalist and JHK founder Melissa Walker-to open the window for students to understand, appreciate, and apply jazz and its rich cultural and international legacy-has become a rich gathering place of musical talent and shared promise. In less than a decade, JHK has become a highly regarded New Jersey arts education and performance organization, fostering a strong community of award-winning students, dedicated teachers, and first-rate professional musicians. JHK is committed to closing the gap in music education in our schools and communities by using America's homegrown music - jazz - to cultivate tomorrow's responsible global citizens and community leaders.
JHK has created and tested programming and learning opportunities aimed at boosting achievement, providing enrichment for students from largely underperforming schools, and awakening the musical sensibilities of young and old students alike. JHK's 125 school-based programs have served more than 15,000 New Jersey public school students and over 1,200 teachers and administrators. In 2009, Walker's vision became reality, when JHK opened its "Jazz House" studio school in downtown Montclair to augment its robust in-school and out-of-school programming by providing year-round instruction for students of all ages and levels. The Jazz House now serves students from more than 10 counties and over 20 communities across New Jersey, and provides instruments and scholarship support for 34 percent of its studentbody.
JHK has developed award winning big bands and combos and many of our students continue their studies at some of the nation's leading colleges and conservatories. What sets JHK apart from other arts organizations is the unparalleled access students have to professional jazz musicians, some of whom are internationally acclaimed, ensuring that JHK students receive an authentic jazz education and are mentored by a host of extraordinary talent. While JHK supports and trains some of the region's most talented students, unique to our organization is the capacity to serve a diverse student body with varying needs and musical abilities through creative and thoughtful programming.
JHK's notable strengths include vibrant partnerships among public schools, area universities, local arts organizations, individual and institutional funders, and a community of celebrated jazz musicians and dedicated teaching artists who share their time and talents with students. Melissa Walker, Jazz House Kids founder and executive director, believes that every student deserves a great arts education and has crafted JHK to bridge the gap in music instruction in our schools and in our community. World-renowned bassist and educator Christian McBride serves as creative director and on the Jazz House Kids board. The organization also boasts a talented professional staff, a strong and motivated volunteer core, and a top-notch board of directors, whose members are personally supportive of and committed to Jazz House Kids' success.
131 W. 3rd St
New York, NY 10012