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Jazz Masters Teach

November 19, 1994

I was delighted to see Don Heckman's excellent article about the Joshua Redman/Sergio Salvatore/Jack Elliott presentations at USC as part of the American Express Gold Card Grammy Festival ("These Teachers Are Music to Students' Ears," Nov. 10).

I know from experience that the youngsters who were fortunate enough to attend that event really appreciated their exposure to jazz. Last summer we touched more than 50 youngsters from all over Los Angeles County during six weeks of free master classes at the Music Center. The jazz masters who taught the classes still hear from many of the young musicians, who report that they have a new understanding of the art and continue to practice what they were taught.

We consulted with public school music teachers and administrators before structuring the master class sessions. They told us that even when there was a decent music education program in the schools, most teachers were not educated about jazz. As a result, we shall also present a course in jazz studies for music teachers as another way to benefit the kids.

The only way jazz can survive and prosper is to reach young people and help them appreciate their nation's native art form.

BUDDY COLLETTE, President

JazzAmerica

Los Angeles

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