NWSA students represent Florida in the Thelonious Monk Performing Arts
High School All-Star Jazz Sextet
High School All-Star Jazz Sextet
Los Angeles, CA – Pianist Antonio Madruga, 16, and saxophonist Rane Roatta, 18, from Miami’s New World School for the Arts have been selected to the 2011 edition of the Thelonious Monk National Performing Arts High School All-Star Jazz Sextet. With lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Northrop Grumman Corporation, Madruga and Roatta joined the group sponsored by the Thelonious Monk c of Jazz as it introduces its “Peer-to-Peer” jazz education program in Baltimore and Washington, DC public schools earlier this month.
Combining performance with educational information, these “informances” were presented by six exceptionally gifted high school music students from around the country. They were featured along with internationally acclaimed saxophone recording artist Antonio Hart, vocal sensation Lisa Henry, and renowned jazz educator Dr. J.B. Dyas. Each school visit included an assembly program featuring a musical performance for all students, followed by jazz workshops for each school’s jazz band and choir with the visiting student performers playing alongside and sharing ideas with their Baltimore and Washington counterparts.
“We’re so excited about the trip,” said Madruga, one of the best jazz pianists for his age in the country. “Learning Antonio Hart’s music has been seriously challenging, but it has really helped get us to the next level.”
Besides playing jazz at a level that belies their years, the students talked with their Baltimore and Washington peers about what jazz is, why it’s important to America, and how a jazz ensemble represents a perfect democracy. They also discussed important values that jazz represents: teamwork, freedom with responsibility, unity with ethnic diversity, the correlation of hard work and goal accomplishment, and the importance of finding a passion early in life, being persistent, and believing in yourself.
In addition to Madruga and Roatta, who are featured in the current issue of DownBeat Magazine for winning its Annual Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Soloists, the members of the all-star sextet selected nationwide include trumpeter Nico Segal, 17, from Chicago; guitarist AJ Durham, 18, and drummer Michael Mitchell, 16, from Dallas; and bassist Daryl Johns, 14, from Englewood, NJ.
ABOUT NEW WORLD SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
Nationally recognized for their conservatory-style training and superior performance, jazz students at New World School of the Arts have been widely acknowledged for their musicianship on a national scale. Students have received Downbeat Student Music Awards and been selected to perform with the High School Grammy Band in Los Angeles, California. New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts, is an educational partnership of Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. Information about the NWSA Music Division at 305-237-3539 or nwsa.mdc.edu.
At New World School of the Arts, Miami’s premiere eight-year arts conservatory, music students receive one-on-one instruction from accomplished musicians and grow through disciplined guidance and training as they develop their personal style and repertoire. Through its educational partnerships, NWSA’s audition-based programs, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater, offer the high school diploma as well as the BFA and BM college degrees. Areas of concentration in Music include: composition, performance, instrumental, piano, strings and voice.
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts, is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.
ABOUT THE THELONIOUS MONK INSTITUTE OF JAZZ
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is a nonprofit education organization established in memory of Thelonious Monk, the legendary jazz pianist and composer. Monk was one of the primary architects of bebop and his impact as both performer and composer has had a profound influence on every genre of music. His more than 70 compositions are classics that continue to inspire artists in all disciplines. Monk believed the best way to learn jazz was from a master of the music. The Institute follows that same philosophy by bringing together the greatest living jazz musicians to teach and inspire young people, offering the most promising young musicians college level training by America's jazz masters through its fellowship program in Jazz Performance, and presenting public school-based jazz education programs around the world. Helping to fill the tremendous void in arts education left by budget cuts in public school funding, the Institute’s school programs are provided free of charge and use jazz as the medium to encourage imaginative thinking, creativity, a positive self-image, and respect for one’s own and others' cultural heritage. Jazz great Herbie Hancock serves as chairman. www.monkinstitute.or.
ABOUT THE PEER-TO-PEER JAZZ EDUCATION INITIATIVE
Through the national Peer-to-Peer Jazz Education Initiative, which receives lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Northrop Grumman Corporation, the Institute provides jazz combos comprised of music students from selected public performing arts high schools across the nation with weeklong peer-to-peer jazz informance tours. The young musicians gain invaluable performance experience playing alongside internationally acclaimed artists while they, in turn, help educate young audiences in public schools throughout the U.S. about America’s indigenous art form.
# # #