American Jazz Museum partners with Charlie Parker Memorial Foundation to expand programs


Katrina E. Williams
Northeast News

The American Jazz Museum has partnered with the Charlie Parker Memorial Foundation’s Kansas City Arts Outreach. Both partners share similar missions and interests in musical education for children.

“The Charlie Parker Memorial Foundation and the American Jazz Museum both had solid music programs. When theirs was discontinued, we saw an opportunity to consolidate our already-existing community resources to help continue to provide access to those programs,” said Cheepto Kositany-Buckner, Executive Director of the American Jazz Museum. “We were even able to bring some of their teachers on board.”

This move will expand the museum’s Kansas City Jazz Academy – a music education program that serves youth in the Kansas City area.
In 2017 the program successfully brought together 150 students, meeting each Saturday for classes.

Starting this year, the program will be led by Clarence Smith, who oversees the music department at Metropolitan Community College’s Penn Valley campus. Smith is also in his 7th year as director of the Kansas City Youth Jazz program.

The new partnership between the KC Jazz Academy and the CPMF will provide toddlers and elementary school students with access to a new and innovative curriculum, which has been proven successful by teachers Greg Richter and Willa Eaton.

The Kansas City Jazz Academy is open to all students regardless of age or ability.

“We welcome children as young as birth,” stated Kositany-Buckner. “It is important that we encourage the development of love of music as early as possible.”
While students are welcome to bring their own instruments, the Yamaha Corporation has made contributions to ensure that all children who participate will have access to the use of instruments.

The partnered program began on February 3rd, at 1:00 p.m. at American Jazz Museum which is located at 1616 E 18th St. in Kansas City, Missouri.

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