The mission of the Jazz Education Community Coalition (JECC) is to create a community- based artistic network available to all young people interested in learning jazz.
The JECC Jazz workshop is designed to build repertoire, develop performance and audition skills, and help musicians get an understanding, love and ear for this music we call jazz. Though the workshop’s focus is young musicians, anyone who is interested in learning more about playing this music is welcome. Teaching young musicians these skills early will not only help them grow as performers, it will build confidence as young men and women and hopefully, mentors.
This workshop is unique in many ways. There is a strong emphasis on practical application; everything the musicians learn in the weekly workshop is applied via performance. The members of the ensemble have the opportunity to apply their newfound knowledge in performances at least once a month. They apply their theory, and learn and grow from these performances. Every workshop and every performance is recorded and available for the students to review. It is a great way for the students to measure their own growth.
The performance opportunities are made possible by other community organizations that understand and share the vision such as Ron Weber’s South Florida Jazz series, the Sunshine Jazz Organization and the Old Dillard Museum in Broward, to name a few.
The JECC Jazz Bootcamp Ensemble allows young musicians from various Dade and Broward county schools to interact with each other while perfecting their skills. The young musicians range in ages from 8 to 19. They come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, but the common denominator is the music. No student is ever turned away. The novice and the advanced student approach learning in the same fashion. There is a limited use of sheet music. The student learns to develop their musical intuition, their ears, and their spontaneity. They learn to create arrangements as a group and perform as an ensemble.
The concept of mixing levels of musicianship teaches the students who are more advanced mentoring skills. They help the students with less ability grow. They learn that in order to keep their knowledge they must give it away. It also sets a standard for the musicians with less experience to work towards.
The students gain perspective from various professional musicians and educators from the community. The importance of offering many different views gives the students a variety of ways to understand the same concepts. It also gives members of the JECC an opportunity to exchange ideas as educators. The eventual goal is to offer professional development certification for educators who attend or teach the workshop.