Thursday, May 1, 2014


Inside the Jazz Note fv


WHEN: Thursday, May 15, 7:30 PM*
Alexander Kasser Theater, Montclair State University, 1 Normal Ave., Upper Montclair
ADMISSION: General evening seating tickets are $35 and $55. A special $125 Jazz Note VIP package is offered, and includes best of house seating and a post-concert reception with Christian McBride and friends.
100% of the proceeds support Jazz House Kids’ full mission.
For tickets, call 973.744.2273 or visit

*The program is divided into two action-packed events: a free afternoon master class for hundreds of high school and college band and choral students and their instructors from across New Jersey (1:00 PM to 5:00 pm); and, in the evening (7:30 PM), a rare encounter of “behind the scenes” conversation and concert for the public.

GRAMMY Award-winning virtuoso of the bass Christian McBride returns to host the 2014 Annual Benefit of Inside the Jazz Note: a concert and conversation reuniting his friends, jazz giants Al Jarreau and David Sanborn.

*Inside the Jazz Note High School + College Masterclass1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Designed for high school and college-level musicians and their instructors, the Inside the Jazz Note day session is an interactive afternoon of music performance, stories and Q&A led by Christian McBride, David Sanborn, Al Jarreau and Jazz House Kids teaching artists. More than 200 students and teachers are expected.

“The annual Inside the Jazz Note Masterclass provides both students and faculty an unparalleled ‘backstage pass’ on what it’s like to play professionally, work in a big band and back a vocalist,” said Ryan Maloney, director of education and programming for Jazz House Kids. “Learning from the masters has always been the way jazz has been passed down. This is fundamental to the mission of Jazz House Kids, as we learn from Christian McBride, David Sanborn and Al Jarreau – some of the greatest living jazz musicians today.”

In past years, the discussions have been very engaging and both students and educators have left feeling inspired and energized. Access to mentoring and education can be awe-inspiring for these talented emerging student musicians. As one teacher remarked, “The opportunity to get to hear a jazz legend is life changing; the impact of directly interacting with and being mentored by a celebrated musician can’t be underestimated.”

Previous guests have included the grand masters Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Louis Hayes and Renee Rosnes (2013); the riveting vocalist Dianne Reeves and Christian McBride’s Inside Straight (2012), piano NEA Jazz Master and composer Chick Corea (2011); GRAMMY’s 2011 Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding (2010); acclaimed trumpeter Chris Botti (2009); and 17-time GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist Pat Metheny (2008).

Inside the Jazz Note: An Evening Program of Musical Insights and Inspiration, 7:30 PM

Beginning at 7:30 pm, Jazz House Kids will continue its daylong program by opening up Montclair State University’s Kasser Theater to the general public for its annual benefit with host Christian McBride and special guests, saxophonist David Sanborn and vocalist Al Jarreau. The three jazz giants will perform together and share intimate details of their illustrious careers, star-studded collaborations and early years. The evening will also feature performances by the Jazz House Big Band and will include video and audio recordings.

“The Inside the Jazz Note concert is a rare opportunity to examine the world of jazz through the eyes of the artists and it is a perfect complement to our student masterclass,” said Walker. “Have you ever wondered how great musicians cultivated their trademark styles and sounds? Or what a great musician was listening to as a child? What obstacles they faced along the way? Come out to the program on May 15th and you’ll get an insider’s view. You may never listen to music the same way again!”

Award Night: Jazz House Kids Musician of Distinction

At the culmination of the evening program, two outstanding up and coming student musicians will be honored with the annual Jazz House Kids Musician of Distinction Award. The award is given to a student musician of top talent whose study would benefit exponentially with a new, professional-level brass, woodwind or string instrument, generously donated by RS Berkeley Musical Instruments, and will receive one year of artist mentoring by a Jazz House Kids instructor, a $10,000 value.

With seven GRAMMY Awards, scores of international music awards and a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, Al Jarreau has a unique vocal style that has made him one the most exciting and critically acclaimed performers of our time. An honorary Jazz House Kids “Luminary” since 2007, celebrated saxophonist David Sanborn has released 24 albums—including eight Gold and one Platinum – and won six GRAMMY Awards over his stellar four-decade career. Sanborn and Jarreau famously collaborated on Sanborn’s 1986 release Since I Fell for You, which spent 63 weeks on the Billboard charts.

The special guests will be backed up by the award-winning Jazz House Big Band, directed by Julius Tolentino. According to Melissa Walker, president & founder of Jazz House Kids who was recently named one of the “Best Women in Business for 2014” by NJBIZ Magazine, the big band represents the next generation of jazz artists. “The Jazz House Big Band is the pinnacle of our ensemble program and these talented high school students are on their way toward becoming accomplished artists who create their own swing and style,” she said. “Together they stand on the shoulders of the three jazz legends that will grace our stage at our annual benefit, Inside the Jazz Note.”

The Jazz House Big Band is comprised of 26 talented high school musicians from across New Jersey. Band members are selected through competitive auditions and make a full-year commitment to the ensemble. Earlier this year, the big band won first place at the prestigious Charles Mingus Competition in New York City. They also performed with the New Jersey Ballet to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Garden State. Before heading to Inside the Jazz Note, the Jazz House Big Band will compete in the 2014 Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival on May 9-11 as one of only 15 student big bands from across the nation accepted into the most prestigious big band competition at Lincoln Center in New York City. Last year, the Jazz House Big Band took second place overall at the highly coveted competition.

“This will be a bittersweet night for us, as many of our big band members are graduating this year. Several are going to the top music schools in the country with significant scholarships awards,” said Walker. “It’s very gratifying to see our students branching out, representing jazz across the country and knowing that Jazz House Kids played a part in their development at a very pivotal time. We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments!”

The Inside the Jazz Note Annual Benefit has become a hallmark of Jazz House Kids’ award-winning education and community building programs, and a highly anticipated, must-attend event for jazz fans in the tri-state area.

“With an emphasis on STEM subject matters and testing, schools are often forced financially to make choices,” said Walker. “Delivering meaningful arts education to our children does not receive the priority that it used to. This is where the private nonprofit/corporate and foundation partnership initiatives are critical in bridging the gap to ensure that students receive a STEAM education,” she said.

Inside the Jazz Note is sponsored in part by TD Bank with additional support from Prudential Financial, PNC Wealth Management, United Airlines, Wells Fargo, RS Berkeley Musical Instruments and the Wilshire Grand Hotel.

About Jazz House Kids – Jazz House Kids is a nationally recognized arts organization with a mission to transform young lives and open doors to the future by offering high-quality year-round musical, educational, and cultural and community engagement programs for students from diverse backgrounds. Internationally renowned jazz performers teach alongside our professional staff, offering students grades K-12 a wide range of creative programming that develops musical potential, enhances leadership skills and strengthens academic performance. The “Jazz House” provides the framework for students to cultivate the talent, discipline, skills and principles they need to play, sing, and appreciate America's original musical art form. Through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship, Jazz House Kids cultivates tomorrow’s global citizens so they may build vibrant communities where they live. For more information, visit

About TD Bank – TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., with approximately 27,000 employees and deep roots in the community dating back more than 150 years. The Bank offers a broad array of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services to more than 8 million customers through its extensive network of approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. TD Bank operates in 15 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to banking products, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth® and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD." For more information visit