Rest In Peace Victor McElhaney

Photo by Michelle Carson-Flynn, Courtesy of The East Bay Center for the Performing Arts

The senseless killing of 21 year old Victor McElhaney has shocked and saddened our musical community. Victor was a remarkable musician, student, and role model for many young people. He was recently shot and killed in an attempted robbery near University of Southern California where he was enrolled in the jazz studies program.

A native of Oakland, CA, Victor’s musical ability was nurtured by his parents, Clarence McElhaney and Lynette Gibson McElhaney, at an early age. He grew up in the East Bay’s vibrant musical community studying drumming with instructors Tacuma King and E.W. Wainwright as well as participating in programs at The Oakland Public Conservatory and The East Bay Center for Performing Arts.

When I was the Artistic Director of the Richmond Jazz Collective at The East Bay Center for Performing Arts I had the pleasure of teaching Victor as a part of our performance group. Last summer I was proud to work with him on a professional gig. During our ride home from the performance, Victor, Band Leader Geechi Taylor, and I talked about the recent release of Oakland-themed movies. Victor was very excited about the international recognition Oakland was receiving in film and stated that he was confident that soon Oakland would be recognized for its innovative, vibrant, and beautiful music scene. Let’s all continue to work together as a community to prove Victor McElhaney right.

Sincerely,

Ravi Abcarian
Executive Director

Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund

Dear Friend of Oaktown Jazz Workshops,

It is thanks to you that we enter 2019 with the momentum of a successful year and over two decades of providing year-round music education and presentations for young people.

This year Oaktown Jazz Workshops’ young musicians attended 140 ensemble workshops and performed at dozens of community events across the San Francisco Bay Area. Our instructors conducted over 50 music clinics at public schools and we continue to produce family-friendly concerts at our venue in Jack London Square, Oakland.

At the core of our organization are afterschool classes and workshops where young musicians learn to perform together as a group directly from professional musicians dedicated to helping youth develop their talents.

Many of Oaktown Jazz Workshops alumni are now widely recognized as some of the new exciting voices in jazz. Our Founding Director, Khalil Shaheed, was very proud of their musical accomplishments and also proud of how OJW was able to teach youth important life skills far beyond performing music.

Six years ago we launched the Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund to cover the cost of our workshops for young musicians whose families could not otherwise afford tuition. This fund has been absolutely critical in supporting local young people seeking opportunities for creative expression and artistic development.

Your support, in whatever amount you can manage, will encourage our children’s creativity, elevate music education and appreciation, and enrich our community.

Sincerely,

Ravi Abcarian
Executive Director

John Santos Quintet Saturday, October 6th • 7PM

You’re invited to a concert performance featuring the outstanding young musicians of Oaktown Jazz Workshops and The John Santos Quintet.

The concert takes place at 7PM on Saturday, October 6th at Oaktown Jazz Workshops, 55 Washington Street, Jack London Square, Oakland.

This event is a benefit for Oaktown Jazz Workshops’ year-round music program for youth. As you may know, I’ve been with Oaktown Jazz Workshops since 1997, and have seen the incredible impact that we’ve had on the lives of countless youth.  We are only able to continue thriving thanks to support from individuals like you.

Tickets are available at https://oaktownjazz2018.brownpapertickets.com

Tell a friend and if you participate in social media please share the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1296727803796851/

Thank you,

Ravi Abcarian

Executive Director
Oaktown Jazz Workshops

Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund

Dear Friend of Oaktown Jazz Workshops,

Thank you for supporting community-based jazz education in Oakland. As Oaktown Jazz Workshops (OJW) enters our 24th year, we continue to thrive – offering high quality music instruction to youth from across the San Francisco Bay Area. We are especially proud of our outstanding alumni who apply the collaborative skills gained through our program to positively engage in their communities and pursue meaningful careers. Over the past year, many of our alumni, now working as professional musicians, have returned to Oaktown Jazz to lead captivating concerts and make time to teach young musicians currently in our program.

With the shocking political climate and disheartening tone of today’s news, OJW’s programs are needed now more than ever. We put youth first, and our priority is making sure that young people have a safe space where their potential can be recognized and fostered.

OJW’s twice weekly, year-round Performance Ensemble workshops and recently added Jazz Improvisation class provide young musicians a supportive environment where they are mentored by a small group of instructors dedicated to helping youth develop their talents.

Our Founding Director, Khalil Shaheed, created OJW to pass down the language of jazz through the historically traditional method of mentorship, access to live concerts, and performance opportunities. In 2017, in addition to our 140 workshops, we presented 10 family friendly concerts and 20 OJW Youth Ensemble concerts, offered jazz encounter clinics with artists such as John Santos and The Lionel Hampton Big Band featuring Jason Marsalis, and held 47 music sectionals and presentations in East Bay public middle schools.

Five years ago we launched the Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund to cover the cost of our workshops for young musicians whose families could not otherwise afford tuition. This fund has been absolutely critical in supporting local young people seeking opportunities for creative expression and artistic development. At this time, your contribution to Oaktown Jazz Workshops will allow us to continue to serve as a vibrant local community asset.

Your support, in whatever amount you can manage, will encourage our children’s creativity, elevate music education and appreciation, and enrich our community.

Sincerely,

Ravi Abcarian
Executive Director

Josiah Woodson

A CD release party for Suite Elemental

Josiah Woodson trumpet, guitar
Art Khu piano
Ravi Abcarian bass
Elé Howell drums

Sunday, July 30th 6PM

55 Washington Street, Jack London Square, Oakland

Suggested donation $15 – $30

Jesse Levit Quartet

A fundraiser for Oaktown Jazz Workshops

Eric Garland- drums
Ravi Abcarian- bass
Malcolm Campbell- piano, keyboard
Jesse Levit- alto saxophone, EWI

Friday, August 4th

8PM

55 Washington Street, Jack London Square, Oakland

Suggested donation $15 -30

A Musical Tribute to the Life of William Sims

On November 12th, 2016 Will Sims was killed in an attack that began with a racial slur

Join us for this concert to honor Will’s life presented by his musical community the day before what would have been his 29th birthday

Saturday, July 1st

8PM

Hosted by Bay Area Radio Personality Greg Bridges

This is a free concert. Proceeds from contributions made at the door will go toward Oaktown Jazz Workshops’ “William Sims Private Lesson Scholarship Fund”

55 Washington Street in Jack London Square

Oakland, CA

94607

Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund

Dear Friend of Oaktown Jazz Workshops,

It is thanks to you that we enter 2017 with the momentum of over two decades full of supporting young musicians and presenting family friendly concerts at venues and schools throughout the Bay Area.  Recently we have added classes in improvisation, music theory, and percussion at our location in Jack London Square.  All of this programming is built around Oaktown Jazz Workshops’ year-round, twice weekly, jazz performance workshops where students learn the tradition of jazz directly from professional master musicians.

Young musicians from diverse backgrounds regularly meet at OJW where they are given high quality music education in a safe and supportive environment.  As they develop their musicianship they receive guidance that allows them to both discover their own distinct musical voices and become supportive members of an ensemble.  Many of today’s internationally celebrated jazz musicians including Ambrose Akinmusire, Jonathan Finlayson, and Dayna Stephens, took some of their first solos at OJW, but more importantly, the skills that young people pick up through our program help to prepare them for adulthood.  Gaining the courage to improvise a solo in front of an audience gives a child the confidence to share their thoughts and ideas with others.  And collaborating creatively as a part of a group naturally encourages young people to become more engaged community members.

OJW’s Founding Director, Khalil Shaheed, was committed to passing jazz on to the next generation of musicians through a historically authentic form of jazz education, complete with mentors, performance opportunities and access to live concerts. This approach is based on making jazz performance education accessible to all young people who value it.

Four years ago we launched the Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund to cover the cost of our workshops for young musicians who could not otherwise afford tuition.  Please help Oaktown Jazz Workshops continue to thrive and serve as a local community asset by making a contribution today. Your support, in whatever amount you can manage, will encourage our children’s creativity, elevate music education and appreciation, and enrich our community.

Sincerely,

Ravi Abcarian
Executive Director