May 2011

MAY 2011: Charity Corner - The Junior Jazz Foundation: Passing on the Legacy of Jazz to succeeding generations

Author: Courtney Hampson | Photographer: Photography by Anne

According to musician, Jazz historian, and Jazz Corner owner Bob Masteller, “Knowing Jazz adds another dimension to your historical perspective. Jazz is America’s greatest artistic contribution to the world.”

The Jazz Corner has built both a tradition and a reputation as one of the premier Jazz Clubs in the world. In fact, in February, Downbeat magazine recognized The Jazz Corner as one of the 150 Great Jazz Rooms in the world. (The world!) Jazz greats Bucky Pizzarelli, George Shearing, and Warren and Allan Vache share Downbeat’s sentiment and rate The Jazz Corner as the best jazz venue in the United States, hands down.

Parallel with the evolution of The Jazz Corner’s success has been Masteller’s passion to pass on the legacy of Jazz to succeeding generations. Hence, the Junior Jazz Foundation was formed in 2006. Masteller’s firm belief that the original American art form of Jazz music is important, fuels his focus on educating and enabling young musicians in our community by supplying instruments, scholarships, classes and seminars.

The mission of the Junior Jazz Foundation is to preserve the American classical art form of Jazz, and to maintain the longevity of the art form. Jazz was originated in America and is our version of classic music. Masteller believes that it is “vital that our youth continue to be exposed to the historically rich culture and history of Jazz in its various forms.”

The Next Generation in Jazz chillin’ outside the Jazz Corner in the Village at Wexford.

Masteller works with local schools and legendary musicians to pass on the art form via youth programs both inside the educational framework and also through independent sources of development. With schools being limited fiscally in their ability to provide the exposure to this art form, the Junior Jazz Foundation steps in and provides what the schools—and students—need. Interestingly, the Junior Jazz Foundation also focuses on the correlation between character and artistic development. As such, the Junior Jazz programs emphasize development, group performance, and non-traditional learning and listening through exposure. The value then received by the students includes an understanding of the relationship between freedom of expression and fundamental responsibility.

As a part of their fundraising efforts, the Junior Jazz Foundation seeks collaborations with area organizations to provide quality Jazz experiences. On May 5, the Foundation will partner with Palmetto Bluff for a “Concert on the Green,” as part of the community’s monthly music series. Palmetto Bluff will host the outdoor concert from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Revelers are invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets and experience The Jazz Corner All-Stars and Bob Masteller’s Jazz Corner Quintet. A $25 per car contribution will be collected at the Main Gate at Palmetto Bluff. All proceeds will benefit the Junior Jazz Foundation.


Concert on the Green
Where: Palmetto Bluff
When: May 5, 2011
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Gates Open at 5pm
Tickets: $25 per car, at the Palmetto Bluff Main Gate

The Jazz Corner All-Stars
Rhythm & Blues Vocalist Reggie Deas
Pianist & Vocalist Lavon Stevens
Pianist & Vocalist Teri Rini Powers “Hilton Head Island’s First Lady of Jazz”
Pianist & Vocalist Martin Lesch
Down-Home Blues Vocalist Whitley Deputy

“Salute to Duke Ellington” with Bob Masteller’s Jazz Corner Quintet
Multi-Instrumentalist & Jazz Historian Bob Masteller
Pianist & Vocalist Martin Lesch
Bassist Will Snyder
Trombonist Jon Miller

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