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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 9:30 AM EDT
Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 5:00 PM EDT

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Lehman College Music Building, Third Floor 
250 Bedford Park Blvd W
Bronx, NY 10468

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Janny Gonzalez 
Jazz Power Initiative 

Jazz Power Institute 2019

Jazz Power Initiative in collaboration with Lehman College presents a two-day training for artists and educators free of charge. Teachers are eligible for 12 hours of CTLE Credit in Content. All participants will receive a certificate from Jazz Power Initiative.

SJAI Group 2017 


July 17 and 18, 2019 9:30am-5pm


Music Building, Third Floor
Lehman College (CUNY), 
250 Bedford Park Blvd, Bronx, NY

Cost/Registration: There is no charge, but all participants must register in advance.

Jazz Power Institute is presented with support from Lehman College, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Michael Rosenfeld Gallery and individual donors.


Jazz Power Institute provides a dynamic framework for teachers, arts specialists and teaching artists to build their knowledge and skill teaching jazz arts awakening deeper imagination, discipline, community and trust with their students. Participants will be immersed in activities and discussions around teaching jazz through multiple modalities of singing, dancing, theatre, writing and visual arts. Master Classes will be led by Jazz Power Institute faculty including:  James McBride, author/musician, Eli Yamin, Artistic Director, Shireen Dickson, choreographer/producer and Tom Dempseymusician/educator  

Participants will be from a wide range of experience in the field from college students who are relatively new to teaching artist work to experienced teachers and artists with a decade of experience. A safe and challenging learning environment will be created where breakthroughs will be made in understanding the jazz arts in a more comprehensive and dynamic way.

Jazz Power Institute provide tools for exceptionally effective and transformational learning. Improvisation, syncopation, swing and making a soulful sound in coordination and interaction with others brings out the best in each individual learner while helping her become a better listener and more responsive and supportive community member.

About the Artists

James Mcbride

James McBride is an author, musician and screenwriter. His landmark memoir, “The Color of Water,” rested on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. Aside from his writing background, James toured as a saxophonist sideman with jazz legend Jimmy Scott, among others. 

He has also written songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., Pura fe, Gary Burton, and even for the PBS television character “Barney.” He did not write the “I Love You” song for Barney but wishes he did. He received the Stephen Sondheim Award and the Richard Rodgers Foundation Horizon Award for his musical “Bo-Bos” co-written with playwright Ed Shockley.  His  2003 “Riffin’ and Pontificatin’ ” Musical Tour was captured in a nationally televised Comcast documentary. He has been featured on national radio and television in America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He often does his readings accompanied by a band.  

SJAI Shireen Shireen Dickson has been Jazz Power Initiative/The Jazz Drama Program choreographer-in-residence since the year 2000. She has worked in dance and arts education for over 20 years – as a performer, teaching artist, lecturer, curriculum developer, and NYC Dept of Education classroom teacher.  She spent 10 years performing with and assisting award-winning choreographer Dianne McIntyre at renowned performance venues, dance and jazz festivals throughout the country.  In addition to currently directing the 25-year old Okra Dance Company (which presents programs featuring African American vernacular and world rhythmic and folk dances) Shireen has developed programs and presented for a diverse range of institutions including NY Dance Parade, Elizabeth StrebPilobolus, National Black Arts Festival, and United Federation of Teachers. Shireen is a founding member of the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance based at Duke University and directs their bi-annual international conference.

SJAI Tom Tom Dempsey has performed and/or recorded with a virtual “Who’s Who” of world renowned jazz musicians including: Wynton Marsalis, George Coleman, Kenny Barron, Roy Haynes and Bobby McFerrin. Currently he is Professor of Music at LaGuardia Community College and on the faculty at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has authored several books on jazz guitar and filmed hundreds of instructional videos inspiring students across the globe. 

Carol Maillard is one of the founding members of the Grammy Award-winning a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. She was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although she originally attended Catholic University of America on scholarship as a Violin Performance major, she soon began writing music and performing with the drama department and eventually changed her major to Theater. Carol became an accomplished actress and has performed in film, television, cabaret and on stage. Her theater credits encompass a wide range of styles from musical comedy and revues to drama and experimental. She has worked on Broadway in DONT GET GOD STARTED , ITS SO NICE TO BE CIVILIZED, COMIN UPTOWN , HOME and EUBIE; off-Broadway with the Negro Ensemble Company, the New York Shakespeare Festival and at the Actors Studio and many regional theatre productions. Recently she Reprised her role as Woman Two for a staged reading of Samm Art Williams Tony nominated play HOME for Project 1Voice. Carol served as Conceptual and Creative producer for the 2005 documentary film SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: RAISE YOUR VOICE ! on the PBS series American Masters. Produced and directed by Stanley Nelson, the film chronicled SWEET HONEY’s 30th Anniversary year. She also produced the accompanying soundtrack for the film..

Louise Robinson is one of the founding members of the Grammy Award-winning a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. She is a native New Yorker, studied concert bass for six years and attended the High School of Music and Art. A graduate of Howard University with a BFA, her professional career began at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. Louise accepted Robert Hooks’ invitation to become a member of the new, D.C. Black Repertory Company Acting Ensemble. It was out of this theatre company that Louise, along with Carol Maillard. Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Mie, formed the a cappella quartet, Sweet Honey In The Rock. Louise’s colorful career has taken her up many paths, including performances, both on and off-Broadway, and in film and studio recording. She has also worn the producer’s hat as she, along with Maillard and Smokey Ronald Stevens, produced A Sho Nuff Variety Revue, a series of performances showcasing some of New York’s finest talent, including Adolph Casear, Sandra Reeves Phillips, and legendary tap dancers Gregory Hines, Avon Long, and Joe Attles.

Artistic Director and Co-Founder  Eli Yamin is a pianist, composer, singer, producer and educator who has been spreading the joy of jazz through his work for 30 years including 10 years as founding director of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy. Eli tours with his blues band and jazz quartet, has released eight CD’s featuring his compositions, published three youth centered jazz musicals and has performed at The White House, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and over 20 countries as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State. Eli sincerely believes learning about jazz should feel as creative as playing jazz and consistently shares this experience with students of all ages. He has written a book, So You Want to Sing the Blues, published by Rowman and Littlefield in partnership with the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and is on the faculties of Lehman College (CUNY) and Marymount Manhattan College.

Jazz Power Initiative is an uptown, New York City-based not for profit 501 (c) (3) organization whose mission is to ignite the power of jazz arts education to transform lives by fostering self-expression, leadership, collaboration and diversity. Jazz Power Initiative was originally founded as The Jazz Drama Program in 2003 by jazz musician/educator Eli Yamin and writer/educator Clifford Carlson. Since then, thousands of young people in New York City, across the US and around the world have made friends with jazz and in jazz through Jazz Power Initiative programs. Over 1000 artists and educators have received training in Jazz Power Pedagogy at our annual institute and at customized trainings for schools and organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad including collaborations with Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Mississippi Arts Commission, the National Urban League, Muse Machine, the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of State.



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