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Prescott Jazz Summit

The Prescott Jazz Summit August 25-27, 2023

Prescott Jazz Summit

Information Provided By Mike Vax

The Prescott Jazz Summit Educational Outreach Program

The Prescott Jazz Summit has an educational component as part of its yearly schedule. We have given clinics for bands from all over Arizona, had student ensembles perform at our annual festival, given funds to local music departments, given scholarships to deserving students, and presented assembly programs in schools. We have reached over 5000 students all over Arizona.

We present assemblies for the WHOLE student body in the schools where we perform. It is very important to present jazz music in an entertaining and "inclusive" form for ALL the students, not just the music students. These programs are done at NO CHARGE to each school. We pay the musicians out of funds we raise for the program. We are working to encourage young musicians to become great jazz players and cultivating a new audience for jazz music. By performing for all the students, we find that we are always making new "fans" for jazz music. We do demonstrations on each of the instruments, so that the students get an idea of what each instrument sounds like and how it works. We have done these performances in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. In almost every school where we have performed, there have been new student inquiries about how to get into the band program and the administration offices have always had calls from enthusiastic parents talking about how much their sons and daughters enjoyed our programs and how they came home and actually talked about what they had heard.

We do clinics for the music students in many of these schools after we perform the assemblies, so that we can also teach the music students more about jazz music and jazz history. We try to create interest in more listening to jazz greats and in finding out about how jazz music progressed over the years. We also work with the students on their respective instruments to give a little extra boost to their practicing. In a few instances, we have even rehearsed their jazz band to give constructive comments.

This whole Educational Outreach program is funded through donations to "Friends of Big Band Jazz." (A 501c3 nonprofit corporation.) FBBJ is the sponsoring organization for the Prescott Jazz Summit as well as the Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra tours around the USA. It has given more than $70,000 for jazz camp scholarships, funds to school music departments, funds to help musicians in need, and the Habitat for Humanity for the New Orleans Musicians Village.

The Prescott Jazz Summit Has:

Hired over 100 different musicians from Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, Montana, New York, Michigan, Arkansas, and Illinois over the past 22 years.

Included schools and students from all over Arizona in our educational workshops and outreach programs: Prescott High School, Chino Valley High School, Bradshaw Mountain High School, Franklin Phonetic School, Glassford Hill Middle School, Verde Valley School in Sedona, Thunderbird High School (Phoenix), Tucson High School, The Arizona Jazz Academy (Tucson), Mile High Middle School, The Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Youth Band, The Prescott Jazz Summit Youth Band, Miller Valley Elementary, Washington Traditional School, Lincoln Elementary, and Abia Judd Elementary. All of these have been at no charge to the schools or the students.

Given funds to local charities, school music departments, and student scholarships in excess of $18,000.

Sold over 24,000 tickets to our events over the course of our 22 year existence, and presented concerts at: The Elks Opera House, The Ruth Street Theater (Prescott High School), The Hassayampa Inn, The Elks Performing Arts Center, The Hotel St. Michael, The Prescott Resort, The Mile High Middle School Theater, Prescott Fine Arts Theater, The Highlands Center, 129 ½ Jazz Grille, Monk's Restaurant, The Pine Cone Inn, The Prescott Steak House, Murphy's Restaurant, Yavapai Performing Arts Center, York Motors, and The Congregational Church on Gurley Street.

Sponsored over thirty free concerts in Courthouse Plaza.

Been listed in nationally known jazz magazines, plus AAA magazine, Arizona Highways, AZ Tourist News, Jazz in AZ newsletter, and newspapers around the state.

Supplied musicians for many local functions as well as the 2010 District Rotary Convention, and the 2012 Big Brothers and Big Sisters Gala, both held at Prescott Resort.

Value To Our Community

Considering that many of the out-of-town musicians would charge anywhere from $500 to $2000 for a clinic and concert appearance when booked by a school, you can see both the monetary and musical value that the festival has brought to our area. These musicians work here for much less than their regular fees because they are treated so well in Prescott and because they realize the importance of bringing jazz music not only to existing jazz fans, but to the future jazz fans of our country. Considering the many musicians that we have had work with our area young people, the realistic monetary value over the past 22 years would be at least: $75,000. For all our educational endeavors, there has been NO charge to the students or the schools. In fact, we have made financial contributions to every school that has performed as well as giving scholarships to students to attend summer jazz camps and for private lessons. We have also donated to other civic groups. The amount donated over the years has been approximately $19,000.

Also considering that all our musicians come in for much less than they would normally charge to perform at our annual festival, we have provided the community with an endless stream of world class performers. We have also brought in audience from Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, New York, Illinois, Utah, Texas, Puerto Rico, and other places that we haven't even documented.

PAST PERFORMERS INCLUDE: Tony Tennille, Tom "Bones" Malone, Buddy DeFranco, Terry Gibbs, Bob Florence, Lennie Niehaus, Bill Watrous, Walt Johnson, Dave Pell, Bill Perkins, Pete Jolly, Ed Shaughnessy, Marvin Stamm, Carl Saunders, Scott Whitfield, Kim Richmond, Rusty Higgins, Fred Radke, Kim Richmond, Dennis Rowland, Gary Anderson, Ginger Berglund, Mike Vax, Peggy Vax, Roy Wiegand, Tony Vacca, Steve Annibale, Armand Boatman, Blaise Lantana, Margo Reed, Sherry Roberson, Renee Patrick, Barbara Catlin, Mel Zelnick, Joel DiBartolo, Jack Petersen, Claire Willey, The Sounds of Shearing, Dave Russell, Ramon Dana, Keith Brush, Denny Garr, Brian La Chance, Matt Jackson, Rosemary and Frankie Chavez, Larry Kantor, Tom Winker, Bill West, John Hafer, The Swing Shift Big Band, The Festival All Star Big Band, The Bad Cactus Brass Band, and many others.

SCHOOLS/GROUPS THAT HAVE PERFORMED: The Prescott High School Jazz Ensemble, The Chino Valley High School Jazz Ensemble, The Bradshaw Mountain High School Jazz Ensemble, The Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Youth Band, Tucson High School Jazz Band, Thunderbird High School Jazz Ensemble (Phoenix) and The Tucson Jazz Academy, Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Youth Band, Mountain Youth Jazz Band, Prescott Jazz Summit Youth Band.

EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH SCHOOLS: Prescott High School, Mile High Middle School, Bradshaw Mountain High School, Bradshaw Mountain Middle School, Granite Mountain Middle School, Verde Valley School (Sedona), Washington Traditional School, Liberty School, Franklin Phonetic School, Abia Judd Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Miller Valley Elementary.

MASTERS OF CEREMONIES HAVE INCLUDED: Al McCoy "The Voice of the Phoenix Suns," Blaise Lantana - Radio Station KJZZ, Sandy Moss - KQNA Radio, Ken Beyers – KQNA Radio, Pete Barbutti – world famous Las Vegas Comedian.


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