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MAC Youth Jazz Night featuring Saxophonist Josh Lee
May 15 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
A Youth Jazz Performance and Jam Session Series with Saxophonist Chris Oatts and Friends
Suggested Donation: $10
This monthly jazz performance series features young jazz musicians from area high schools and universities as well as a house band of professional jazz musicians. Each month saxophonist Chris Oatts and local rhythm section will kick off the performance by playing a few selections, and local area high school combos will be invited to perform for and sit in with the professionals. Each performance will have a featured guest artist or theme of the month.
Having opportunities to perform with, listen to and engage with musicians who are more experienced and accomplished is a fundamental part of growth as a jazz musician, and has historically been the fastest and most effective path to authentically passing on the aural tradition of the music.
Looking back on my own experiences as a teenager coming up in the world of jazz, I was fortunate enough to have a monthly Sunday jam session made possible by a local jazz organization that provided me a venue to play with musicians who were better than me, forcing me to quickly adapt and step up to a new level. This also provided an opportunity to ask questions and observe how the music can be played at a high level. Additionally, these sessions serve as a social function to meet like minded and passionate young musicians and allow for further performance opportunities in the community, outside of regular school sanctioned performances. Cultivating these relationships amongst students and professionals is a crucial part of furthering the scope of jazz locally.Chris Oatts
Historically in Greater Philadelphia, there have been very few (or no) regular performance and jam session opportunities for high school age musicians to perform and sit in amongst professional jazz musicians. Access to jam sessions and performances in Center City Philadelphia is limited by access to transportation, school night preparations, school and extracurricular obligations, and minors frequently not being allowed at popular jam session locations. The pandemic has wiped out many of the sessions for high school and college age musicians that did exist, and there is a clear need for community engagement. Now is the time to for a regular performance opportunity for talented young musicians and the public to build community and musically connect with one another.