The FUNdamentals of Jazz Presented at Susie E. Tolbert Elementary School
May 19, 2015
Friday Musicale presented The FUNdamentals of Jazz: How Jazz Plays a Major Role in Current Pop Music by the John Lumpkin Trio to grades K-5 at Susie E. Tolbert Elementary School. This was the first educational outreach presentation presented by Friday Musicale at Susie E. Tolbert Elementary School. Principal Lashawn Blackshear welcomed the students and introduced the program.
Local producer, arranger and drummer John Lumpkin created the interactive program including local artists Erik Lofgren, piano, and Mike Perez, upright bass. The trio began by playing music John told the students they refer to as "elevator music." Engaging the students with questions such as, "Does anyone know where jazz music originated?" and inviting a few student volunteers to show their fellow classmates their best dance moves to a "sick beat." Throughout the presentation, the artists kept the students' undivided attention. John introduced a boogaloo, the trio played one and he asked the students to listen while he and bassist Mike Perez continued the beat. Students were on their feet from the floor immediately cheering and dancing when pianist Erik Lofgren added the melody which students immediately recognized as Pharrell Williams' Grammy Award-winning pop song "Happy."
Students learned how the piano covers chords and melodies, the different sounds a keyboard can produce and how the upright bass keeps the rhythm together and lays a foundation for the drums. The students' curiosity and interest in the music and instruments was evident through the questions they asked the artists. Another jazz-based pop song performed by the trio electrifying the students and faculty was Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk" featuring Bruno Mars.
Friday Musicale is appreciative of Principal Lashawn Blackshear for her support of presenting the arts to students. Flyers were sent home with students for their families to know about the program presented and to see the free concerts Friday Musicale is presenting this summer. Friday Musicale plans to continue its educational outreach programs in the Duval County Public Schools in the next school year. Interested school administrators should contact Executive Director, Mandie McKenzie, via email@example.com or 904-355-7584, for more information.