Wendy Oxenhorn on Jazz in Schools

JAZZ IN SCHOOLS [:60]

RUFFIN: NOW A JAZZ MOMENT

AS JAZZ MUSICIANS AGE, IT’S EASY TO LOSE TOUCH WITH SOCIETY AND HARD TO FIND PAID GIGS. BUT IN 2001, NEA JAZZ MASTER WENDY OXENHORN CHANGED THAT BY CREATING A NEW SPACE FOR OLD MASTERS TO PERFORM: NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

OXENHORN: That's what I love about our jazz in the schools program. We're able to employ people that are too old to work any other place, give them this meaningful ability to play for the kids who love them, run up and ask for their autographs after. They have a reason to wake up again instead of being alone in an apartment!

Music up

OXENHORN: You're not just keeping a bunch of elderly people who are these legends alive and deserve that but you're giving kids this experience. You know how many kids say to us, "That's the first live music I ever heard!”  (beat)

It's just a beautiful circle, music. What would the world be without music?

THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH MUSICIAN’S ADVOCATE WENDY OXENHORN WAS PRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.

Excerpt of musicians playing at Claremont Prep School (2010), the Jazz Foundation of America, used courtesy of Wendy Oxenhorn and Claremont Prep.