Keeping Jazz Alive in Oakland

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Young performers at the ‘In the Name of Love’ concert in 2019. Photo by Rosaura Studios.

Living Jazz is an Oakland-based jazz music organization that has been committed to transforming lives through music since 1984.

Through education and performance programs that focus on cultural diversity and cultural pride, Living Jazz designs accessible programs that instill confidence, responsibility and ambition in children; motivate people of all ages and backgrounds to reach their personal and creative potential; and unite diverse communities through their shared love of jazz and related genres.

A member of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce, Living Jazz is committed to serving the diverse community of Oakland through year-round programs that reinforce the organization’s belief that music is an inherent component of a healthy and vibrant society and that every child and adult have the right to accessible, high quality music immersion experiences.

Living Jazz is renowned for its annual Jazz Camp WEST, an eight-day jazz immersion program for instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers of all skill levels held in the beautiful redwoods of La Honda, in Northern California. The combination of workshops, personalized instruction, student performances, faculty concerts, late night jams, and beautiful surroundings with new friends and mentors creates an inspiring and memorable week.

One of the annual events sponsored by Living Jazz is the “In the Name of Love,” concert, which is Oakland’s only non-denominational musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Next year, it will be held on Sun. Jan. 19, 2020, at the Scottish Rite Temple with “A Change is Gonna Come” as its theme.

That night the “Oakland Citizen Humanitarian Award” also will be presented to an Oakland citizen working tirelessly to make a difference.

All proceeds benefit the Living Jazz Children’s Project (LJCP). LJCP is a full-year music education and performance program that Living Jazz provides completely free of charge for Title I Oakland public elementary schools with little or no access to the arts.

Concerned with the profound lack of cultural funding for the Oakland public schools, Living Jazz launched LJCP in 2005 as a way to bring high quality music education to diverse Oakland public elementary schools.

For more information about Living Jazz and its programs, please visit livingjazz.org or email [email protected]

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