Friday JAM part 1

The National Museum of American History has designated April as Jazz Appreciation Month. JAM has been created to be an annual event that honors the legacy and spirit of jazz as the heart and soul of all popular music.

Berklee City Music is joining this festivity with special jazzy posts and events on our Blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoy our weekly updated Jazz Appreciation Month playlist and explore the history of jazz through song. New tunes every Friday!

Also, one of the special activities we are doing is a Transcription Challenge for City Music students at Network sites.  Students who enter and follow the rules will have the opportunity to win Berklee City Music swag.  Songs for the transcription challenge can also be found on the first edition of the Playlist!

Let us know which songs you’d like to hear next Friday! We’re eagerly waiting for your suggestions!

In the Spotlight and Taking First Place

Wilmington Youth Jazz Band at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE June 2, 2013 (Photo Credit: Nancy J .Powell)
Wilmington Youth Jazz Band at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE June 2, 2013 competing in “In the Spotlight” (Photo Credit: Nancy J. Powell)

On June 2nd, The Wilmington Youth Jazz Band (WYJB) took first place in the finale of the “In the Spotlight” competition at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware.  The finale was a culmination in a series of qualifying competitions, and included vocalists, musicians, and poets from all over the tri-state area (Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey).

During the performance, Mrs. Fostina Dixon-Kilgoe directed the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band, which included alumni from the Berlee College of Music, in a mesmerizing rendition of Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard.  After their performance, each member of the judging panel highly commended the talent of the band and gave particular praise to the soloists and Mrs. Fostina Dixon-Kilgoe.

Check out the WYJB’s performance of “Red Clay” from the “In the Spotlight” competition.

Wilmington Youth Jazz Band 9th Annual Concert

Woodwind and horn line

On the afternoon of May 19th 2013 the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band held its 9th Annual Concert at the Eastside Charter School in Wilmington Delaware.  Wilmington Youth Jazz Band supporters and fans gathered for what proved to be a fantastic musical performance.  The evening began with an encouraging speech by the First Lady of Delaware, Mrs. Carla Markell, who stressed the importance of music in shaping the lives of youth in the Wilmington community and throughout the state of Delaware.

The evening continued  as Berklee Alumna, Mrs. Fostina Dixon-Kilgoe, directed the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band in a crowd rousing performance that featured jazz classics such as Recorda-me by Joe Henderson, Better Get Hit In Your Soul by Charles Mingus, Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard and much more.  The evening culminated with an awards ceremony that awarded deserving members of the group with nearly two thousand dollars in scholarships and gifts.

This annual event marks the start of a busy performance season for the band, where they will be performing a variety of events such as the Dover African Festival and Friends of Woodlawn Summer Music Series.  In addition, the band was selected as a finalist for the City of Wilmington Spotlight music competition that is held June 2nd at the Grand Opera House.

Mrs. Markell Fostina 2
From left to right: Carla Markell, First Lady of Delaware, and Fostina Dixon-Kilgoe, Founder and Executive Director of Wilmington Youth Jazz Band