NEW YORK, NY, August 10 – Trinity Church Wall Street today announced a new collaboration this fall with Jazz House Kids, a preeminent arts education and performance organization in Montclair, NJ, to provide free, professional jazz education for children, as well as a series of free jazz concerts for the public at its historic downtown churches. Jazz House Kids, now in its 20th year, was founded by jazz vocalist Melissa Walker, and eight-time GRAMMY winner Christian McBride serves as artistic director. This JAZZHOUSE@Trinity collaboration reflects Trinity’s commitment to offering a wide range of musical styles and access to award-winning musicians in our public spaces, including jazz, a uniquely American art form and an important, uniting voice for our collective story and experience.
Earlier this summer, JAZZHOUSE@Trinity initiated programming at Trinity Youth Afterschool at Trinity Commons– Trinity’s public space in Lower Manhattan– through the creation of the Trinity Youth Summer Jazz Ensemble. Two jazz ensembles studied under the direction of world-class artists, with a culminating performance at St. Paul’s Chapel on Tuesday, July 26.
The new JAZZHOUSE@Trinity offering during Trinity Youth Afterschool will expand access to free musical training and jazz education in small and large group ensembles; improvisation; novice programs for beginners, which will include use of a new instrument; jazz vocals and African drumming. Nationally renowned jazz performers will serve as teaching artists, offering students in grades 6-12 a wide array of creative programming that develops musical potential, enhances leadership, social-emotional learning, and life skills, and strengthens academic performance. The program will be expanded to K-5 in 2023.
Trinity Youth Afterschool is a five-day-per-week program that is free and open to all NYC youth in grades 6-12. Youth members gain access to a wide range of quality programming in addition to lunch upon arrival, a full-size gym, youth lounge, study space, and art and dance studios.
As part of the collaborative summer offering, daytime jazz concerts also debuted at Trinity. Guests included jazz greats like Bruce Williams, and Abel Mireles and LatiNext; and emerging talent Zoe Obadia and Claudia Abena, performing in Trinity’s historic St. Paul’s Chapel. Building upon these successes and Trinity’s “indispensable and unmissable” (The New York Times) music programming, Concerts at One will return this fall and will feature a new Jazz at One series on Tuesdays for seven weeks starting October 11, presented in collaboration with JAZZHOUSE@ Trinity.
Trinity will also present a new Jazz Icons concert series at Trinity Church on Sundays, co-curated by McBride and Walker. On July 10, the pioneering Steve Turre Sextet was the first artist in this series, followed by concerts planned for October 9 and December 4.
“Trinity is excited to bring a new stream of musical talent into our historic sanctuaries and offer this gift of free and dynamic music concerts to our neighbors,” said the Rev. Michael Bird, Vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street. “We are grateful to our partners at Jazz House Kids for hosting award-winning educational programming for our young people and opening doors to some of the greatest musicians of our time.”
“Jazz House Kids is excited to open a NY campus in collaboration with Trinity Church,” said Melissa Walker, founder and president of Jazz House Kids. “We will further our mission as an instrument for change– providing access, learning, career development, and community building through jazz. We are honored to commence this collaboration with renowned Trinity Church Wall Street and recognize their significant investment in jazz– this uniquely American art form born of the African American experience and now embraced around the world.”
About Trinity Church Wall Street:
Trinity Church Wall Street is a growing and inclusive Episcopal parish of more than 1,200 members. For more than three centuries, Trinity has been a part of the fabric of New York City-weaving together a vibrant and diverse parish of people of all backgrounds from the five boroughs and surrounding area. The parish is guided by its core values: faith, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, social justice, and stewardship. These principles are the reason Trinity champions justice and equity through public advocacy, neighborhood outreach, and financial resources. More than 20 worship services are offered every week online and at its historic sanctuaries, Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, the cornerstones of the parish’s community life, worship, and mission, and online at trinitywallstreet.org.
About Jazz House Kids
Now in its 20th year, Jazz House Kids is dedicated to transforming lives using the power and legacy of jazz through world-class education and performances that create avenues of access, learning, career development and community building. The organization and students have received more than 125 awards and recognition for excellence in jazz and jazz education. Every day of the week through a series in-school and out-of-school programs, the Jazz House helps young people gain an artistic edge through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship, building thriving communities, and fostering community leaders and global citizens. The organization’s far-reaching cultural signature program is the award-winning Montclair Jazz Festival, the largest free jazz festival in the NYC area attracting more than 35,000 attendees to downtown Montclair each year. For more information, visit www.jazzhousekids.org.