The Jazz and Democracy Project®

102015

Dr. Wesley J. Watkins IV speaking at WVC. (Photo by DMG)

Dr. Wesley J. Watkins IV speaking at WVC. (Photo by DMG)

The Jazz & Democracy Project® is a music integrated curriculum that uses jazz as a metaphor to illustrate the study of United States history and to cultivate a profound understanding of American democratic ideals: “J&D brings American democracy to life, enriches the study and teaching of U.S. history, government, civics and culture, and inspires youth to become active, positive contributors to their communities.”

Wesley J. Watkins, IV, PhD, the founder of the Jazz and Democracy Project®, says: “I teach children about jazz as a way for them to understand democracy.” Today he talked to a group of West Valley College students, with great enthusiasm, about the history of jazz and its parallels to American history. “Jazz as improvisation,” he said, is a lesson in unity.” Most importantly, jazz and democracy relate, he explained, in that “they are both processes”; that is, jazz and democracy are “a set of actions taken to achieve a desired end.”

After Dr. Wes (as he likes to be called) talked, two WVC Jazz music students, Jason Keiser and Jordan Wolfe, performed jazz standards on their guitars.

IMG_2595

Students enjoyed jazz played by WVC music students, Jordan Wolfe and Jason Keiser. (Photo by DMG)

Here is a video of Jason Keiser playing bluegrass.

And here are Jason Keiser and Jordan Wolfe with their Jazz Quartet.

Dr. Wes and Lenore Harris, a faculty member in the English Department who is currently teaching a literature, poetry and writing course focused on American jazz. (Photo by DMG)

Dr. Wes and Lenore Harris, a faculty member in the English Department who is currently teaching a literature, poetry and writing course focused on American jazz. (Photo by DMG)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s