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Herbie Hancock Kicks Off Week-Long Jazz Education Program in Chicago Schools :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz N

Herbie Hancock Kicks Off Week-Long Jazz Education Program in Chicago Schools :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Herbie Hancock Kicks Off Week-Long Jazz Education Program in Chicago Schools
Posted by: eJazzNews Readeron Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 10:43 AM
October 19, 2005
Contact: Sarah Andrew Wilson
202.364.7272 or 202.680.2420


Washington, DC – The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a non-profit education organization, will introduce its Jazz in America: The National Jazz Curriculum to thousands of public school students in Chicago during the week of October 24-28, 2005. Jazz in America ( is the Institute’s Internet-based jazz curriculum that is being made available to all 5th, 8th, and 11th grade public school students in the United States. Designed to be taught as a regular part of each school’s American history and social studies classes, this is the first jazz curriculum to use state-of-the-art Internet technology and be offered free of charge on a national basis.

The Institute’s Chairman, ten-time Grammy Award winner Herbie Hancock, will return to his native Chicago to launch the jazz education initiative at Corliss High School on Monday morning, October 24 at 9:15am. On hand for this special program will be Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. along with other elected and education officials.

In the Institute’s first visit to Chicago, the tour will consist of a series of jazz assembly programs, jazz band clinics, vocal master classes, and teacher training workshops. Each assembly program will feature a five-piece jazz combo led by internationally renowned saxophonist Bobby Watson, a presentation called “What is Jazz?” by J.B. Dyas, Curriculum Project Director, and a question-and-answer session with students. In addition, jazz drummer Thelonious Monk, Jr., Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, will make remarks about jazz and its role as America’s greatest musical contribution to the world. The tour is made possible through generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and United Airlines.

Members of the press are invited to attend any of the following events:

Corliss High School (821 East 103rd Street):
9:15-10:15am - Assembly Program for 1,000 students in auditorium

Dixon Elementary School (8306 South St. Lawrence):
9:30-10:30am - Assembly Program for 800 students in auditorium
10:45-11:45am - Jazz Band Clinic in band room

Curie Metropolitan High School (4959 South Archer Avenue):
1:15-2:00pm - Assembly Program for 800 students in auditorium
2:15-3:15pm - Jazz Band Clinic in auditorium

Lincoln Park High School (2001 North Orchard Street):
11:15am-12:15pm - Jazz Band Clinic in Rehearsal Room 179
1:00-2:00pm - Assembly Program for 700 students in auditorium

Jones College Prep (606 South State Street):
3:00-4:00pm - Jazz Band Clinic in band room

Julian High School (10330 South Elizabeth Street):
8:20-9:20am - Assembly Program for 700 students in auditorium
9:30-10:30am - Jazz Band Clinic in auditorium

Kenwood Academy (5015 South Blackstone Avenue):
12:30-1:30pm - Assembly Program for 700 students in auditorium
1:45-2:45pm - Jazz Band Clinic in band room

Northside Prep (5501 North Kedzie Avenue):
8:15-9:00am - Jazz Band Clinic in band room

About the Curriculum:
The Jazz in America curriculum ( presents an introduction to jazz as it evolved in America and spread throughout the world. It defines the characteristics of jazz, explains how to listen to the music, details the many styles of jazz, and highlights some of the musicians who have advanced the art form. The curriculum also focuses on the development of jazz in America by highlighting the major cities that influenced the music. Further, each lesson plan explores the social, economic, and political contexts within which jazz evolved. In addition to the lesson plans, the curriculum website includes a teacher’s manual, assessments, and a comprehensive Jazz Resource Library.

About the Musicians:
The tour will be headlined by internationally renowned saxophonist and recording artist Bobby Watson (, who rose to prominence as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and will feature vocalist Lisa Henry, a winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition. The members of the rhythm section are Richard Johnson, piano; Derek Nievergelt, bass; and Otis Brown III, drums. Brown attended the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony in Aspen, Colorado in the summer of 1999. Johnson and Nievergelt are 1999 graduates of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at the University of Southern California, a specialized graduate level college program that enables the world’s most gifted young musicians to study tuition-free with the greatest living jazz legends including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Clark Terry.

About the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz:
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz ( is a non-profit education organization established in memory of Thelonious Monk, the legendary jazz pianist and composer. Monk believed the best way to learn jazz was from a master of the music. The Institute follows that same philosophy by bringing together the greatest living jazz musicians to teach and inspire young people. The Institute offers the most promising young musicians college level training by America's jazz masters and presents public school-based jazz education programs for people around the world. Helping to fill the tremendous void in arts education left by severe budget cuts in public school funding, the Institute’s education programs are provided free to the public and use jazz as the medium to encourage imaginative thinking, creativity, a positive self-image, and respect for one’s own and others' cultural heritage.

About Herbie Hancock:
Herbie Hancock is a jazz icon who has been an integral part of every jazz movement since his arrival on the scene in the ’60s. Hancock was born in Chicago and began playing piano at the age of seven. When he was 20 years old, Hancock was invited by Donald Byrd to join his band and move to New York. Byrd later helped him secure a recording contract with Blue Note Records. Hancock’s debut album, Takin’ Off, included “Watermelon Man,” which was the first of many top ten hits. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, he became one of the pioneers of the avant garde sound. His recordings during the ’70s combined electric jazz with funk and rock sounds in an innovative style that influenced a whole decade of music. Rockit and Future Shock marked Hancock’s foray into electric dance music and included several chart-topping hits. During the same period, he continued to work in an acoustic setting with V.S.O.P., which included ex-Miles Davis bandmates Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. Hancock has received an Academy Award for his Round Midnight film score and 10 Grammy Awards. Many of his compositions, including “Canteloupe Island,” “Maiden Voyage,” and “Chameleon,” are modern standards that have had a profound effect on all styles of modern music. Herbie Hancock continues to be a creative force in jazz and a trailblazer in the world of music. His most recent CD, Possibilities, debuted at #1 on the Billboard jazz chart and #22 on the Billboard Top 100 in September 2005.

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