NCJF Jazz Education


The NCJF is excited to collaborate with our local Brigade Boys and Girls Club. In November, Doug Irving, local musician and bassist, along with other local musicians,will perform and educate students about jazz-an American art form! We are thrilled to inspire the next generation of jazz enthusiasts! In 1896, five boys gathered at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church for the first meeting of the Wilmington Boys’ Brigade, a new club started by Colonel Walker Taylor. A prominent Wilmington businessman and civic leader, Taylor was eager to serve the troubled youth of Wilmington and to help them discover and develop their talents. Today, more than 2,400 local youth are served by the Brigade Boys & Girls Club.

cfccNCJF has also made a donation to Cape Fear Community College Jazz Scholarship program. Local musician and saxophonist Benny Hill, -started the scholarship fund and is passionate about preserving jazz music. Benny Hill and his quartet opened our festival in 2015! This is a local community college with a growing jazz program. What a great opportunity to educate and inspire the next generation in our community.

master1This year we had a concert at DC Virgo Middle school. There were about 100 students in attendance. Performing for the students were Herman Burney, Bria Skonberg, Jim Fryer, Adrian Cunningham, Nate Najar, and Quentin Baxter. The students were thoroughly entertained by the musicians. Each of the musicians spoke of jazz as compared to being on a sports team where each player knows their position. Bria explained that even though they did not practice beforehand they are able to perform as a band because they all know the jazz standards and that is the beauty of jazz! Will Smith, the band director, was thrilled at his students enthusiasm and curiosity about jazz. The students asked great questions of the musicians and even greeted them afterwards to check out the instruments up close! Thank you to DC Virgo Middle school and faculty for inviting us to perform.


At noon on Friday six of our All-Star musicians, under the leadership of trombonist Dion Tucker, gave a concert/workshop to their third, fourth and fifth grades.
During the opening , Wilmington Arts Council Director Rhonda Bellamy presented NCJF President Sandy Evans with a check for the grant awarded to the North Carolina Jazz Festival in order to make our Jazz Education Program possible.
Following that presentation, the musicians spoke to the students musically and verbally about their instruments and the music we call Jazz. They spoke about where it began and who some of the early jazz artists were. During the question and answer period the musicians were surprised at how well prepared the students were by the “in depth” answers they gave to some of their questions and the questions that the students asked the musicians! Obviously the school had been looking forward to this visit and the teachers had given the students the background that that made the musical presentation all the more meaningful!
As you can see from the photos, students and musicians had a “jazzy good time”!
This was our first visit to an elementary school and we are so pleased that we chose Snipes, as the enthusiasm of the administration and the students was inspiring!
“I appreciate your providing our students with such an awesome performance of fabulous musicians—they provided some instruction as well! Our students’ high interest and level of participation made me so proud! Please continue to partner with Snipes Academy!” a quote taken from the thank you note from Snipes principal, Cindy Talbert.

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Masterclass reviews:
-What an incredible event! Thank you so much for all you do to make these masterclasses happen for these kids. The inspiration that takes place in just 2 hours is incredible to watch and I see that inspiration continue throughout the year. We are already looking forward to next year.
Take care and I hope to see you soon,
Anne Stohl-violin teacher/parent

-Just wanted to say congratulations on an awesome lineup and a great festival our kids really enjoyed it ,me too ! Roger Davis-Dreams teacher

-Claire Viadro & David Valleroy: On their sons Logan and Casey taking the master classes and participating in the Patrons brunch: The boys loved meeting Chuck Redd and Jonathan Russell and thoroughly enjoyed performing with Chuck and Herman Burney on the big stage. Your festival is clearly a peak event for jazz enthusiasts in this region, and we look forward to experiencing it again in future years.

Special thank you to Mark Robbins, George Ball and Herman Burney for taking great photos of our festival! You make us look great!!!!