As part of its “Holiday Giving Week,” spotlighting “people giving back to others,” NBC television’s “The Kelly Clarkson Show” featured, today, the Montclair-based educational organization, Jazz House Kids. You can watch the segment below.
Clarkson interviewed Melissa Walker, the jazz singer who founded the organization and runs it; and her husband, jazz bassist, composer and bandleader Christian McBride, who serves as its artistic director, and on its board.
Walker told Clarkson that Jazz House Kids is “a music education and youth empowerment organization. Every day of the week, we’re providing access and learning, career development and community building. And we do it in schools, we do it in our headquarters in Montclair, New Jersey. Also in Lower Manhattan.”
“Jazz is the sound of freedom,” said McBride. “Jazz is America’s indigenous art form. And jazz is a perfect balance of the head and the heart. And in order to learn this music properly, you have to have listening skills, you have to understand the concept of teamwork, and when you understand that, you understand empathy. And those three things together not only make you a really great musician but … it makes you a great human being and a global citizen.”
Jazz House Kids students were shown, briefly, playing a big band arrangement of “Jingle Bells.” And Walker and McBride were presented with a giant check signifying a $25,000 donation to Jazz House Kids from the Wing drone delivery company.
Here is the video:
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