The jazz legacy continued in grand style when Q City Soundz Stage Band performed for the Youth Jazz Jamboree Competition, a program sponsored by Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium, Inc. (CBJC) at Brooklyn’s Restoration Plaza.
The balmy spring weather added to the festive air as the young musicians warmed up for the afternoon’s annual event. The band musicians are no more than 22 years old. The music was topnotch professional by a group of youngsters, some as young as ten years old.
The afternoon’s repertoire included old time favorites like At Last, made famous by Etta James and sung by CBJC’s Young Lioness Award winner, Jasmine Morris. Sizzling energy was displayed by all the Q City band members, but outstanding was saxophonist Ayodele Hamilton. Another vocalist, Jasmine Daly, stepped outside the jazz circle and did a great job singing Joy & Pain.
The band’s instruments included saxophones, clarinets, guitars, basses, drums and keyboard. This year’s competition was between members of Q City Soundz. The young musicians competed for instruments secured by CBJC Youth Committee Chair, Thomas Fisher, from a school whose music department had closed. Many of these instruments were brand new and in their cases. The winners were able to choose their prize instrument.
One of the many proud parents in attendance at the Jamboree said, “Good afternoon. My name is Doriel Larrier, and I am the mother of one of the band members of Q City Soundz Stage Band. I am the proud mother of Mshindi Larrier-Williams, and he is playing the trombone in this program. He’s been a part of this program for approximately 9 months, and they practice at Decature M.S. 35, which is in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant. This program is fantastic in that it gets students of all ages and from all backgrounds together. The purpose of this group is not for them to just develop, but also to learn an instrument. So a number of these students coming into the program have never touched an instrument and for them to get to such a level of proficiency shows growth, desire and appreciation for the arts is a beautiful thing. It’s amazing that our city and community is focusing on STEM (science, technology, education & mathematics), but we also need balance. So we have the left brain foci, but we also need the right brain foci, which is the arts, whether it be dance, drama or theater. So let’s grow the right brain and left brain in the same body!”
Another component of this musical/cultural afternoon was the presentation of the “Upon the Shoulders of Our Elders Award” given to legendary jazz pianist Randy Weston for outstanding contributions to the world of jazz, and accepted by Clarence Mosley of CBJC.
The Youth Jazz Jamboree Competition was made possible by the dedicated work of the Youth Committee Chair, Thomas Fisher; Program/Artistic Director, Rachiim Ausar Sahu; and Program/Music Director, William DeWalt.
The program is tuition free with a one time $50 registration fee. For more information, contact the Quest Youth Organization, Inc. @ www.qyouth.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/qcitysoundz. Phone 718-928-7058
Metro Plus was a contributing sponsor of the Youth Jazz Jamboree Competition.