Press release here:
Young musicians in the LEAF Jazz Band at Delta House will travel to New Orleans this March to study with the world-famous Grammy-winning Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Since 2011, middle students in the Delta House Life Development after-school program have studied jazz with Gary Bradley, a LEAF in Schools & Streets Resident Teaching Artist. The students, many of whom have never left Buncombe County, are invited by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to experience jazz lessons from world-class instructors and explore the rich culture of The Big Easy on a Spring Break field trip. The student band will also perform at the Congo Square Rhythms Festival while in New Orleans.
The LEAF Jazz Band at Delta House, funded by the Dan Lucas Foundation, began in Fall 2011 through a partnership with LEAF in Schools & Streets and the Delta House Life Development of Asheville. What started as an enrichment class has become a core foundation of music education for nine middle and high school students. Two afternoons each week, Bradley calls the energetic LEAF Jazz Band at Delta House students to attention. “The discipline [the students] get from music, they can always apply to their life,” Bradley says. “That’s my goal with all of them. Have some fun, learn some discipline.”
The LEAF Jazz Band at Delta House opened to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on the main stage at the May 2012 LEAF Festival. LEAF Jazz Band at Delta House students performed again at the October 2012 LEAF Festival, opening for New Orleans funk band Khris Royal & Dark Matter. LEAF Jazz Band at Delta House member Matt, who sports a fedora and sunglasses when he performs, says being on stage “makes you feel awesome! It’s exciting, and you get to play in front of a whole bunch of people.”
LEAF in Schools & Streets is a local educational outreach program matching artists with youth in schools and communities for hands-on workshops, residencies, interactive performances, and mentoring that includes opportunities for youth to perform with the artists at LEAF and beyond. Since 2004, LEAF in Schools & Streets has served over 35,000 students.