SUCCESS STORY: Delta House youth find Inspiration from UNCA Jazz Students
LEAF Schools & Streets youth are finding inspiration through live performance. Students at Delta House were encouraged by a special performance by the UNCA Scholarship Jazz Sextet. These aspiring musicians performed for all students in the after-school program and introduced them to jazz. “Anything live where they can visually see and hear it is such a great way for students to experience music and jazz. To be able to see and experience is so important,” noted Sheila, a staff member at Delta House.
Delta House is the location of LEAF Schools & Streets’ premier youth jazz program. This LEAF Delta Jazz Band is comprised of a group of young students, all dedicated to learning the art of jazz. The band meets three times a week with their Teaching Artist, Gary Bradley. Through consistent practice, the jazz group has experienced much success. In March 2013, the group was invited by Grammy award-winning Preservation Hall Jazz Band to travel down to New Orleans and perform at the historic Congo Square Festival.
“This concert was like a mentoring step, especially for our Jazz students,” shared Sheila. “These are young people actually doing it, what the next step for our kids could be. They are a successful group; it was very encouraging to see.” Performing for the kids was an enriching experience for the Jazz students as well, “my students got a lot out of that experience” noted Dr. Brian Felix, Jazz Professor at UNCA. The UNCA Jazz Students serve an important role in providing a positive example for the aspiring young artists, as well as any students interested in pursuing some form of higher education.
Ending with Nina Simone’s “I wish I Knew how it would feel to be Free,” the UNCA Sextet left Delta House students with an inspiring message. The uplifting gospel/jazz encourages listeners with the messages of perseverance and freedom to dream.