N.A.M. JAZZ JAM: Shreveport’s Got Talent! Music Association Hosts Jazz Open Jam Event, Jazz Musicians, Fans Welcome
“JAZZ JAM is a great way of attracting new audiences, and celebrate our heritage. In many corners of music around the country and the world, Jazz is used as the musical foundation. jazz is the “classical” music of America, if we were to be true about it, and should continue to be used as a vibrant tool to stimulate creative outreach.” - Brenda Wimberley
New Arts Musique, a regional chapter of The National Association of Negro Musicians (N.A.N.M), hosting it’s second annual, “Jazz Jam” as a networking opportunity, performance event, and membership drive. N.A.N.M., founded in 1919, is the oldest organization dedicated to the preservation, encouragement and advocacy of all genres of the music of African-Americans. The local chapter maintains that dedication for its very own community. So dedicated to the goal of preserving the arts, and fostering youth participation, the house band for the event is Green Oaks Performing Arts Academy’s, exceptional, Green Oaks Jazz Band, under the direction of Mr. Jeremiah Furlow.
Not everyone knows about the city’s artistic bounty. Some would lament that there is not an overwhelming arts education available in every corner of the city. Make no mistake, there is the wonderful YAZZY! program. Green Oaks. There is a highly-qualified dance studio in the MLK neighborhood, but professional arts education in the schools, for the most part, is largely non-existent. The mission of New Arts Musique is to assure educational, performance opportunities to the young people, to replenish the cadre of future artists for years to come. Music changes lives.
Two such lives, changed by the arts, are N.A.M. President, Mr. Jonathan H. Fountain, and international vocalist, and local-resident, Ms. Brenda Wimberley. Two people, born in different states, similar in age, experienced the exact same musical baptism. Both, as young children, had the benefit of a common experience which determined, in part, the direction of their passions, and their careers. Wimberley and Fountain were both indoctrinated into music by their shared exposure at a very young age, to Sergei Prokofiev’s orchestral fable, “Peter and the Wolf”. What are the odds that they’d share that ongoing love today, in the same city, meet each other, and cooperate in their shared goal?
“JAZZ JAM is an opportunity to bring local great talent, under the auspices of N.A.N.M., to network, solidify the artistic foundation and growth of the arts community. I hope the guests will see what we’ve got going on, and the larger vision of NAM to take group to higher heights.” - N.A.M. President, Jonathan Fountain
“New Arts Cultural Society, Inc., was officially organized in 1970 by Bobby Wiggins in order to elevate the cultural level and aesthetic nature of man via various performance possibilities, encouraging always professional and excellence of the highest order. From the beginning there was always emphasis on enhancing education stressing academic excellence, especially for students in their quest for career choices whether in the arts or any other discipline”, according to their website (http://www.newarts.us/).
One of America’s finest choral directors, Mr. Wiggins’ New Dimensions Choral Society, was the first performance group under the umbrella of the Cultural Society and served as a major support to the Festival of the Arts at Southern University - Shreveport Campus, performing annually alone and with the Shreveport Symphony. Legacy and durability are sacrosanct. This is where New Arts Musique comes in. Keeping the torch lit. They were born to move Mr. Wiggins’ vision forward to a different level, while honoring his mission.
That returns us to today. This organization has a critical mission to offer our youth viable options in blazing the trail of their life. Chances they may not have ever imagined what could be. New Arts Music wants to know you. They’re enlisting artistic warriors to keep doors of opportunity open for the children. They are not, all, mission. They also know how to have a great time, host a great party, breathe life into the arts, and keep them alive for an exponentially-imperiled generation. Show off your stuff, and make a difference too.
Chapter president Fountain says, “JAZZ JAM is an opportunity to bring local great talent, under the auspices of N.A.N.M., to network, solidify the artistic foundation and growth of the arts community. I hope the guests will see what we’ve got going on, and the larger vision of NAM to take group to higher heights.”
Ms. Wimberley added, “JAZZ JAM is a great way of attracting new audiences, and celebrate our heritage. In many corners of music around the country and the world, Jazz is used as the musical foundation. jazz is the “classical” music of America, if we were to be true about it, and should continue to be used as a vibrant tool to stimulate creative outreach.”
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Marcinho Savant: (Arts & Entertainment Critic) is a classically-trained professional singer, vocal coach, conductor, and stage performer.