The Jazzcat

LeRoy Downs gives some jazz knowledge to tomorrows jazz lovers!!

by on Mar.20, 2005, under News


Slide Show

I have some very good friends of mine, Gordon and Robin

Miller, who have 2 beautiful twin girls in Dixie Canyon

Elementary school. It

just so happens that their teacher, Kim Schwiesow, has been teaching the class

about jazz music for Jazz Appreciation Week. Quite naturally when I was

asked to come and speak with the children about jazz I had to make it happen.


Jazz education is so important for our youths, especially

the very young and impressionable. These children are the future listeners and

players of the music. Quite a few kids in the class played either piano or

guitar and one even played violin! I think that it is wonderful that Kim Schwiesow has taken it upon

herself to introduce the world of jazz music to her kids. With all of the

hip-hop domination of our generation X culture, it is very possible that these

children might miss America’s

greatest art form all together.


The children had already been talking about Duke Ellington,

Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald and the like. I thought that it was important for

them to get the names Coltrane, Miles, Dolphy and Mingus under their jazz belt

as well.


I played some music from one of my old jazz radio shows on

KLON and showed them a video tape of the jazz television show that I am

producing. I also passed out bookmarks. These kids had 4 online

computers in their classroom! I wish we had it like that. Anyway, whenever you

have the opportunity to go out and hip some youngsters to some straight ahead,

it is your duty to do so. Plus you will make some new friends that will

probably teach you something. I could be the difference between them growing up

and purchasing Trane or Justin Timberlake.


Big ups to Kim Schwiesow, the twins Amanda and Sabrina and

the entire room 16 of Dixie

Canyon Elementary



Thanks for having me and keep the jazz torch burning way

into the future!!!!


LeRoy Downs

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