Jazz Yard Academy Celebrates First AnniversaryWritten by Ryan Swano
Their motto 'Spread the Love' is truly the driving force that has seen the Jazz Yard Academy grow in leaps and bounds since its inception a little over a year ago and on 31 May 2015 they celebrate their first anniversary the only way musicians know how and that is by having an extra special concert.
The idea to start a music academy for youth in Bonteheuwel on The Cape Flats was born when Chris Petersen and Eugene Oliver met at the Kontiki jazz picnic in Atlantis. Things really took on a new momentum when they got Judith Kennedy on board to manage the whole project which is a fully registered NPO.
Judith, a stalwart activist who has extensive experience as a specialist project manager, is as Chris says, the level-headed one who balances out all their unbridled enthusiasm with practical solutions to all the challenges they face.
Within less than a year since taking in its first students, the Jazz Yard Academy has literally graduated from conducting classes in the yard at its headquarters, a home in Pinewood Street Bonteheuwel, where the singing classes are still conducted, to having their instrument classes now being conducted at the Bonteheuwel Multi-purpose Centre.
Under the guidance and tutorship of dedicated expert musicians, classes are held on a Saturday afternoons and are completely free of charge.
Classes for piano, guitar, bass, vocals, drums, saxophone & trumpet are split between theoretical sessions and performance sessions. The theoretical sessions are conducted with extreme patience, so as not to discourage the young learners, whereas the performance sessions are where the real fun happens.
Here the students are shown how to play a song, irrespective of whether they have reached a level of understanding of the chords they are taught to play. They are also given the opportunity to express themselves, learn to listen to mood of the song and respect each other's contribution to the song.
In a statement released by the directors of the academy they say that at first glance, their mission appears to be purely to give young people an opportunity to become proficient musicians, but that their mission actually goes well beyond that.
"We are passionate about creating a better society, where the humane qualities & principles proliferate."
"Bonteheuwel needs this!"
"So, in alignment with our motto 'Spread the Love', the teachers tasked with taking charge of young people, are expected to uphold the good values of THE JAZZ YARD, as they would be acting as role models for the young people."
"Through love and encouragement and total support of individual expression, we strive to promulgate values such as Respect & Tolerance for one another, Self-belief & Positivity, Honesty, Striving for Success & Excellence, Independent Thinking, Creativity & Innovation and the knowledge that love can conquer the evils in our society"
Featuring the amazing Jazz Yard Academy Kids and phenomenal supporting acts in the form of The Ramon Alexander Cape Jazz Quartet, The Winston Siljeur Project and Jazzinco led by Marvin-Lee Presens, the JYA 1st Birthday Celebration will be held on 31 May 2015 from 14h00 to 22h00 at "Inn on the Greenz", The Golf Village [Wynberg/Kenilworth] Rosmead Ave, Wynberg, Cape Town.
Tickets are available directly from the Jazz Yard Academy at R60 for adults & R20 for children (U-12).
For more info visit the Jazz Yard Academy Event Page and to keep abreast of all the other great and inspirational things that these folks are doing, feel free to join and Like the Jazz Yard Academy Facebook Page.
For more contact info see the pic below .
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