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.