The Jazz & Democracy Project® has inspired thousands of children on two foreign continents plus The Caribbean thanks to education/performance tours with The U.S. Department of State.
The one-time J&D workshop, Jazz as a Metaphor for Democratic Participation, was developed for J&D’s first education tour with the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Wes and a trio of musicians headed to West Africa for an education and performance tour with the U.S. Embassies in Banjul, The Gambia, and Monrovia, Liberia. Most recently, J&D inspired the children of Haiti in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy in Port-Au-Prince.
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“Your approach to teaching the interactive workshops using jazz theory and performance as well as educational instruments, was an inspiration to Chilean teachers and community leaders…. Teachers involved in the workshops are now starting to use multimedia tools and team poster-making as strategies in their classrooms.”
“Your creative teaching techniques and endless patience enlightened hundreds of Gambian children…. You don’t just teach music, you teach teamwork, and harmony and listening skills and the pure joy of learning…. Music is a universal language and you speak that language as well as anyone I know.”
“I’m happy to acknowledge that the workshops you conducted on democracy, preparation and participation resonated with Liberian youth.”
“You and the jazz trio delivered an engaging and powerful message, showing how the essential building blocks of jazz also apply in a profound way to the successful exercise of democracy. Respect and appreciation for others’ contributions, collaboration, individualism but also a willingness to compromise—these vital principles for any democratic society are, among others, what The Jazz & Democracy Project® brought to life.”