qwe Students along the Mississippi Gulf Coast get jazzed by the Monk Institute | Loyola at a Glance | Loyola University New Orleans

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Students along the Mississippi Gulf Coast get jazzed by the Monk Institute

April 3, 2009

IMAGE: Students from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, the world’s leading nonprofit jazz education organization, shared its "Jazz in the Classroom" educational program with hundreds of Mississippi Gulf Coast public school students today and yesterday.

Students from the Monk Institute’s jazz performance program Class of 2009 hosted interactive "informances," or informational performances, on the evolution of jazz and its role as America’s greatest musical contribution. The Class of 2009 is the Monk Institute’s first graduating class since its relocation to Loyola University New Orleans.

At several schools, the jazz assembly programs were supplemented by the institute’s "Jazz in America," a free Internet-based jazz curriculum offered nationally to all fifth, eighth and 11th grade public school students. The "Jazz in America" curriculum is designed to be integrated into each school’s social studies or American history classes. This is the third post-Katrina visit to the Gulf Coast region by the Monk Institute, which introduced its "Jazz in America" curriculum and presented community concerts in 2005.

Participating schools included:

  • Second Street Elementary School, Bay St. Louis, Miss.
  • Waveland Middle School, Waveland, Miss.
  • Magnolia Jr. High School, Moss Point, Miss.
  • Gautier Jr. High School, Gautier, Miss.

The Monk Institute’s jazz performance program is a full-scholarship, graduate-level program at Loyola University New Orleans, led by artist-in-residence Terence Blanchard, a three-time Grammy Award-winning composer and world-renowned trumpeter.

The current class is an eclectic group of musicians comprised of trumpeter Gordon Au, Carmichael, Calif.; bassist Joseph Johnson, Kansas City, Mo.; vocalist Johnaye Kendrick, San Diego, Calif.; guitarist Davy Mooney, New Orleans, La.; pianist Vadim Neselovskyi, Odessa, Ukraine; saxophonist Jake Saslow, Long Island, N.Y.; and drummer Colin Stranahan, Denver, Colo.


The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit jazz education organization, was founded in 1986 in memory of the legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk. The institute fosters the next generation of jazz greats by offering the world’s most promising young musicians college-level training by internationally recognized jazz masters, educating young people around the world about jazz through innovative public school initiatives, and presenting a wide range of programs that help expand and perpetuate America’s indigenous musical art form. Visit the Monk Institute at www.monkinstitute.org.

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