I am a lover of the arts, all genres. They lift my spirit, bring joy and peace. They warm my soul.
Music, especially Jazz, is a pathway to self-realization and self-determination for many who have innate talent or great interest in this musical form. The Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp was conceived to fill the void that was created when the arts budget was cut from New Orleans schools. We were and remain committed to help young people reach their God-given potential.
Since the inception of the Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp in 1995, my interest has deepened each year as I have witnessed fruitful outcomes of the camp’s investment in so many of our alumni. After 21 summers of Jazz Camp, we now have a number of young musicians who are recognized on the local, national and international stage. Our alumni have become successful musicians and successful in other careers; some music related, some not. We have learned from them how Jazz Camp has enriched lives and taught discipline they carried over into various endeavors. The alumni speak of the Jazz Camp faculty; totally committed, inspiring educators and professional performers, who left their indelible mark.
My vision for Jazz Camp is perpetual since students often attend year after year to continue honing their skills, striving towards their ambitions. The Jazz Camp experience teaches the students jazz performance, but also, that one’s life work and career can be very gratifying, enjoyable and financially rewarding. As an educator and mother, I have always felt that the arts, including the visual, performing and literary arts, should be a part of the education curriculum for all students. I am so thrilled with the “Every Student Succeeds Act” that includes the arts as part of a “well- rounded education” that was recently passed by Congress.
Everyone, according to their ability, should advocate for and invest in our young people. Supporting their success in becoming productive citizens will insure the continuation and progress of our civilization and culture. I invite you to join us as we celebrate that which is uniquely New Orleans, our great Jazz musical heritage, by committing to the music education and personal growth of our youth.