Outreach Programs

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In conjunction with its shows, the Southern Fried Jazz Band offers outreach programs for young audiences and jazz students in high schools, colleges and universities. These programs are designed to spark their interest in live jazz and enhance their skills as performers.

With its underlying mission being that of keeping good jazz alive, the Southern Fried Jazz Band conducts outreach programs for jazz students designed to motivate and expand their horizons. It offers the options of assembly concerts (for all ages), master classes (for high school and college students) or a combination of the two on the day of the public performance.

Assembly Concert (45 min – 1 hr)

The Assembly Concert serves as an excellent educational tool for raising both the awareness and appreciation of jazz among students. The audience can consist of students in the same age range or different ages in one or more schools, colleges and/or universities in the community.

Each program includes both narration and music. The narration emphasizes the important role jazz plays in America’s heritage. The music includes songs that illustrate the early roles of jazz in American culture. The narration and music together demonstrate how jazz grew to become one of the most important pieces of our culture’s past, present and future. Following its performance, the band welcomes questions from the audience.

Master Class (45 min – 1 hr)

With its seasoned professionals, the Southern Fried Jazz Band has the flexibility to conduct master classes with jazz students from high schools through colleges and universities. In advance of the date, Mr. Edwards has a meeting or conference call with the band director(s) to learn about the performance level and needs of the students involved. He then designs the class to meet those particular needs.

The master class includes the whole band. Mr. Edwards opens the class with a classic Dixieland tune. He then defines jazz and the important role it plays in our society. Based on the advice of the band director, he offers the following options:

  • Engaging the whole band, he describes and illustrates various techniques used in performing jazz.
  • Individual band members teach and illustrate the basics involved in playing their particular instrument.
  • He and the band include both of the above options as needed.

Following their instruction, the students are encouraged to ask questions. They are also invited to play with the band and demonstrate some of the basics they have learned in the class.

Assembly Concert Followed By a Master Class(1 1/2 – 2 hrs)

An assembly concert followed by a master class is popular in individual schools and colleges as well as in communities with two or more schools. When the latter includes a wide range of ages among the students attending the concert, the band directors are asked to select those at similar performance levels to remain for the master class.

Note: When working with more advanced students, Mr. Edwards offers the band director the option of selecting students (usually one or two) from among volunteers to perform a song with the band in the second half of the public performance. The students can choose any tune they wish to play as long as the Southern Fried Jazz Band knows it. However, in order to exhibit the elements of creativity and spontaneity at the core of all pure jazz, they are not allowed to rehearse the tune prior to the performance.