Jazz Workshop at Metro State University

El Sistema Colorado students had a wonderful opportunity recently to visit Metropolitan State University for a Jazz Workshop lead by Joe Anderies, teacher of the jazz class and a long-time local band and orchestra director, who also serves on the El Sistema Colorado Board of Directors. Thanks Joe!

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Students were supported by amazing professional musicians, including Justin Adams, Denver jazz pianist and composer and Jazz Piano teacher at MSU,  Gonzolo Teppa, Bass player from the model Venezuelan El Sistema program who is new to Denver and playing with all the top local jazz musicians including MSU Jazz and World Music Studies director Ron Miles, and Jill Frederickson, longtime Denver jazz drummer who also plays Gamelan with the group Tunas Mekkar.

Students got a brief introduction to jazz during a visit from Joe Anderies to the El Sistema Colorado after-school program at Garden Place Elementary. During their visit to Metro, students performed alongside college and professional musicians, making their first efforts at improvisation. Below, Issac trades licks with teacher Joe Anderies.
See our METRO FACEBOOK ALBUM for all the photos.

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In addition to the wonderful musical experience, this was a first visit to a college music program for our students. Only half of the students in the Globeville/Elyria/Swansea neighborhoods where our sites are located currently graduate from high school, but El Sistema Colorado is helping these children defy the odds. Improved academic success, character development, graduation from high school and post-secondary education are critical benefits of music enrichment.