Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival
OVERVIEWOur musical workshops are hosted by artists performing at the Jazz Festival and focus on instrumentation or voice lessons in a workshop environment to encourage active participation within the festival. They also provide an opportunity for members of the community with an affinity for jazz music to come together and foster their appreciation for jazz music.
PROGRAM IMPACTInitially, these workshops were a pilot project established to compliment the Education and Outreach programming that the Jazz Festival runs during its annual 3-day event. The works are free and accessible to all, offering participants the opportunity to meet fellow local musicians and connect with each other through music and establish community and belonging with others who share an affinity for jazz music.
The UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival is known for bringing outstanding music and musicians to Waterloo, but also a dedication to inspiring and supporting our region's young musicians. Since the inception of the KW Youth Jazz Ensemble, I have seen several high school students from Forest Heights Collegiate, and most recently Eastwood Collegiate benefit from not only the opportunity to play on a big stage, but also from the type of jazz instruction they receive during the rehearsals leading up to the show. I have had the privilege of reaping the benefits as these musicians return to my school programs as not only better musicians but leaders in their respective sections and groups. This is possible thanks to the support and commitment of the UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival and the Young Musicians Education Program. - Matt Drysdale, B.Mus, B.Ed, Head of Music at Eastwood Collegiate Institute
I originally joined the Youth Jazz Ensemble because I was curious about jazz and wanted to learn more. I had had a couple of lessons in jazz prior to this, but these were focused mostly on details specific to piano and on an individual rather than a group dynamic. During my three summers as a YJE participant, I loved that I got to learn about all of the musicians' roles in the ensemble, not just my own, and that I started to feel more at home as part of a group improvising in the jazz idiom. I also expanded my comfort zone in soloing as I learned more and more ways of approaching both solo and accompaniment playing. My experience at YJE, including one-on-one time with our instructor Jason, was a determining factor in deciding to take private jazz piano lessons for a semester between class terms. I would highly recommend the Youth Jazz Ensemble program to high school and university students looking to get some hands-on experience with jazz, not only for the opportunity to play at a full-scale jazz festival, but especially fort he amazing collaboration that comes out of the workshop. Everyone in my group was excited to be there and willing to work with Jason's feedback, and we all improved so much. - Maria K.
GIVING OPPORTUNITYYour financial support will help keep our life-long learning programs free and accessible for the whole community to enjoy. Please visit https://canadahelps.org/dn/28654 to make a donation.
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ABOUT THIS ORGANIZATION
MISSIONTo provide an extraordinary music experience to our community and beyond through the delivery of a free world-class jazz festival in UpTown Waterloo.
ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILEThe Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival celebrates Jazz music by offering a full range of musical talent. Education and outreach are fundamental parts of our programming. The festival's Education and Outreach Director, Jackie Klue, has been working with amazing budding musicians between the ages of 14-22 over the last few years to offer them an opportunity to work together, cultivate their skills and perform on stage for the Jazz Festival patrons. She has taken this pilot project from awareness of opportunities to jam together and learn in the spirit of jazz to having to hold wait-list spots for these workshops as the local community eagerly awaits our annual musical workshops. Jackie's successful outreach programs of workshops and showcasing local talent have brought back patrons year after year. Why not come and check us out and support our cause?
PROGRAMS AND SERVICESYoung Musicians Education Program - The Youth Jazz Ensemble
Our Young Musicians Education Program is designed to showcase the talent and skills of young, local jazz musicians. Participants are between the ages of 14 and 22 and can take part in this program free of charge. These young musicians attend four workshops leading up to the festival with a prominent jazz musician from Waterloo Region. They work on communication, improvisation, harmony, and other skills needed to be a part of a jazz ensemble. This group performs on the main stage at the festival. Since launching this program, we have received excellent feedback from students, parents, and patrons at the festival. Students involved develop leadership and team building skills.
NEW Youth Jazz Choir
Since we have had such success with our youth programs, we would like to add a Youth Jazz Choir to our Young Musicians Education Program. This choir would be led by Joni NehRita, a local vocalist who is a major performer and teacher in the region. Her skills and passion for guiding young vocalists is a perfect fit for our goals with this choir. We would like the choir to perform on the main stage of the festival as well as other venues around UpTown Waterloo. Additional funding would allow the Choir and the Ensemble to offer additional educational and performing activities year round.
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Youth gain a hands-on experience of performing jazz including improvisational opportunities, collaboration and leadership.
- A donation between $5 and $30 pays for sheet music
- A donation of $75 pays for a guest clinician
- A donation of $100 pays for an extra hour at the rehearsal venue