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May 14: Sheila E. and Christian McBride Headline Jazz House Kids Annual Benefit Inside the Jazz Note
(Published: May 05, 2015)

Jazz House Kids, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that has gained a reputation as one of the nation's preeminent arts education and performance organizations, is proud to announce the 2015 Inside the Jazz Note® Annual Benefit artists: special guest Sheila E., the trailblazing drummer and percussionist, and bass virtuoso Christian McBride, who hosts this annual event for the 7th year. The two jazz giants will share the stage for a special night of concert and conversation on Thursday, May 14, 2015, 7:30 pm at the Alexander Kasser Theater, Montclair State University. TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, returns as Event Host with additional support provided by Prudential Financial.

Sheila E.'s four-decade career beats with colorful fusions of pop, R&B, funk, jazz and Latin music that shape her unique style. Influenced by the Latin jazz roots of her legendary Escovedo family and celebrated collaborators, Sheila E.'s intoxicating onstage presence illuminates her fierce talent behind the music. Her music-immersed childhood helped the gifted musician amass an impressive string of early credits playing with her father and pioneering talents like George Duke, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie and Herbie Hancock. Sheila E.'s famed collaborations with Prince in the 1980s and later Ringo Starr's All Star Band, spring-boarded her solo career. She continues to be a major influence in the music industry touring across the globe with the launch of her new album, Icon from Stilettoflats Music; the recent publication of The Beat of My Own Drum, her autobiography from Simon & Schuster; the opening of the E Spot Lounge in Studio City, California; and her wide-ranging philanthropy projects.

Bassist extraordinaire, composer, arranger, educator, curator and arts administrator: all these labels apply to Christian McBride, one of the most important and prolific figures in the jazz world for the last 25 years. In addition to his dozen solo releases, McBride has collaborated as a sideman with the "who's who" of the music industry: everyone from James Brown and McCoy Tyner to Sting and Paul McCartney. The four-time GRAMMY Award-winning bassist is Artistic Chair and Board Member at Jazz House Kids and directs the Montclair Jazz Festival produced by Jazz House Kids. McBride hosts the National Public Radio show, "Jazz Night in America" and serves as Artistic Advisor of the James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

The two music icons will be backed up by the award-winning Jazz House Big Band, directed by Julius Tolentino. Considered one of the premier youth bands in the nation, the Jazz House Big Band is composed of 26 talented high school musicians from across New Jersey who are selected through competitive auditions. The students commit a full year to the ensemble, and present a number of high-profile performances.

According to Melissa Walker, President & Founder of Jazz House Kids, the big band represents the next generation of jazz artists. "The Jazz House Big Band is the pinnacle of our ensemble program. These talented high school students are on their way toward becoming accomplished artists who create their own swing and style," she said. "Together they stand on the shoulders of the jazz legends who have graced our stage over the years at Inside the Jazz Note."

"Many Jazz House Big Band alumni now attend the country's top music schools, with significant merit scholarships," said Walker. "As this year's crop of seniors get ready to branch out with opportunities waiting at Juilliard, Berklee College of Music, Columbia, Oberlin, Manhattan School of Music, Rutgers and the New School, it's gratifying to know that Jazz House Kids played a part in their development at a very pivotal time," she said.

Beyond Inside the Jazz Note, more than 500 young people study with Jazz House Kids each week. The organization offers a wide range of instrumental and vocal jazz classes at its "Jazz House" in Montclair, and provides access to music education in underserved school districts, with programs in 16 schools. Jazz House Kids also places instruments in the hands of young people who want to play but can't afford instruments. Each year, Jazz House Kids brings jazz into the community through more than 75 student performances. The annual Montclair Jazz Festival, one of the largest festivals in New Jersey attracting more than 5,000 people each August, is produced by Jazz House Kids. Each year Jazz House Kids reaches 25,000 people with events, performances and programming.

The Inside the Jazz Note Annual Benefit has become a hallmark of Jazz House Kids' award-winning education and community building programs, and a highly anticipated, must-attend event for jazz fans in the tri-state area. The program is divided into two action-packed events: a free afternoon masterclass (1:00 pm to 5:00 pm) for hundreds of high school and college band and choral students with their instructors from across New Jersey; and, in the evening (7:30 pm), a rare encounter of "behind the scenes" conversation and concert for the public.

Sheila E. is helping Jazz House Kids fulfill its mission - to ensure that every student has access to the highest quality music, education, mentoring and apprenticeship. Along the way, Jazz House Kids is building communities and nurturing creative, responsible citizens.

Previous guests have included singing sensation Al Jarreau and sax master David Sanborn (2014); the grand masters Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Louis Hayes and Renee Rosnes (2013); the riveting vocalist Dianne Reeves and Christian McBride's Inside Straight (2012), pianist and composer NEA Jazz Master Chick Corea (2011); GRAMMY's 2011 Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding (2010); acclaimed trumpeter Chris Botti (2009); and 17-time GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist Pat Metheny (2008).

Inside the Jazz Note High School + College Masterclass - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Designed for high school and college-level musicians and their instructors, the Inside the Jazz Note day session is an interactive afternoon of music performance, stories and Q&A led by Christian McBride with special guest Sheila E. and Jazz House Kids teaching artists. More than 200 students and teachers are expected to participate.

In addition to hosting students from as far as Camden, Walker is particularly excited to invite 40+ young female students who recently took part in the CHiCA Power Residency® at the Jazz House. This free, five-week program was taught by all-female instructors and included weekly special guests. Supported by the Montclair Fund for Women and other generous private donors, the CHiCA Power Residency® is part of Jazz House Kids' Young Women in Jazz Initiative, an ongoing effort to close the gap in arts education, giving young women musicians an artistic edge and the mentoring, confidence and skills needed to bridge the gap to jazz. As a world-class female musician, Sheila E. is an incredible role model for young women instrumentalists.
"I know firsthand from my own experience as a young musician that this level of mentorship can make a huge impact," said Christian McBride. "Learning from the masters is how jazz has always been passed down and this is fundamental to the mission of Jazz House Kids."

The annual Inside the Jazz Note masterclass provides both students and faculty an unparalleled "backstage pass" on what it's like to play professionally, work in a big band and back a vocalist. In past years, the discussions have been very engaging, and both students and educators have left feeling inspired and energized. Access to mentoring and education can be awe-inspiring for these talented emerging student musicians. As one teacher remarked, "The opportunity to get to hear a jazz legend is life changing; the impact of directly interacting with and being mentored by a celebrated musician can't be underestimated."

"With an emphasis on STEM subject matter and testing, schools are often forced to make choices. Delivering meaningful arts education to our children does not receive the priority it used to. Support from Jazz House Kids' corporate and foundation partners is critical in bridging the gap, ensuring that students receive a STEAM education that includes the arts. Jazz House Kids exists to help young people find their ‘voice' in jazz and provide the tools they need to become global citizens and community leaders," said Walker.

Inside the Jazz Note: An Evening Program of Musical Insights and Inspiration, 7:30 pm
Beginning at 7:30 pm, Jazz House Kids will open the theater to the general public for its Inside the Jazz Note Annual Benefit, also with host Christian McBride and special guest Sheila E. The music giants will perform together and share intimate details of their illustrious careers, star-studded collaborations and early years. The evening also will feature performances by the Jazz House Big Band and include video and audio recordings.

"The Inside the Jazz Note concert is a rare opportunity to examine the world of jazz through the eyes of the artists and it is a perfect complement to our student masterclass," said Walker. "Have you ever wondered how great musicians cultivated their trademark styles and sounds' Or what a great musician was listening to as a child' What obstacles they faced along the way' Come out to the program on May 14th and you'll get an insider's view. You may never listen to music the same way again!"

Jazz House Kids Presents Student Awards
As part of the evening, two very special awards will be presented: the first annual James Moody Jazz Scholarship for New Jersey and the annual Musician of Distinction Award.

Linda Moody will present the winner of the first annual James Moody Jazz Scholarship for New Jersey with a $2,500 award. She has worked tirelessly to establish two scholarships in memory of her husband, the legendary saxophonist, Newark native and NEA Jazz Master. The second Moody scholarship is administered by the State University of New York, Purchase.

"It is such an honor to be part of continuing the legacy of James Moody, a beloved jazz icon," said Walker. "We are pleased to work with the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the scholarship's administrator, which ensures the award goes to a deserving student and rising star. It is a tall order. Moody's life exemplifies the best in humanity, both on and off the stage."

The Musician of Distinction Award is given to a student musician of top talent whose study would benefit exponentially from a new, professional-level brass, woodwind or string instrument, generously donated by RS Berkeley Musical Instruments.

General admission evening tickets are $35 and $55. A special $125 Jazz Note Benefactor package is offered, and includes best of house seating and a post-concert reception with Christian McBride and friends. Student and group tickets are also available. All proceeds support Jazz House Kids' full mission. For tickets, call 973-744-2273 or visit www.jazzhousekids.org.

About Jazz House Kids Jazz House Kids helps students gain an "artistic edge" through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship. By offering pre-professional, year-round musical training along with community engagement and education programs for young people from all backgrounds, we use jazz as an effective teaching tool to enhance academic achievement, dedication and teamwork, and cultivate tomorrow's global citizens. JazzTimes calls Jazz House Kids, "one of the most successful and respected jazz education programs in the country." Since 2002, more than 45,000 students have participated in Jazz House Kids music education programs in the schools, at the Jazz House and in the community. In 2014, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts honored Jazz House Kids with a Citation of Excellence. Each year Jazz House Kids reaches 25,000 people with events, performances and programming.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com.

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