to South Florida Times
FORT LAUDERDALE — A seed sown is a harvest destined to be
reaped, and Women in Jazz South Florida is positioned to reap
greater success as the organization pursues it purpose of
educating, entertaining and stabilizing our community through
the brilliance and eloquence of jazz music.
Jan. 25 at The Broward Cultural Center, middle school students
and spectators watched in excitement and amazement, captivated
by an array of finger-snapping jazz sounds at an event with the
theme, “From Bebop, To Doo Wop, To Hip Hop.”
riveting music was composed and performed by jazz musicians who
included the Parkway Middle School Jazz Band, and Joan
Cartwright, Women in Jazz’s founder and executive director.
noted musicians among the lineup of talented artists included
Dr. Malcolm Black, 20-year veteran leader of the Broward College
Jazz Band and the highlighted arranger of the event; Jus’
Cynthia, composer and performer; Robin Avery and Paul Banman,
composers of Light the Way; Arthur James Wilson, former Sam
& Dave band director; and Melton Mustafa Jr., band director
and maestro of Parkway Middle School.
in Jazz South Florida is a nonprofit organization, not limited
to women musicians, that appreciates and celebrates the
contribution of all who treasure jazz music.
YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE
The organization’s latest event was colorful, exciting and
inspiring, as the Parkway Middle School Band collaborated with
seasoned musicians to deliver their best renditions of songs
composed by legendary jazz greats.
the performances spectacular in sound and rhythm, the audience
became engaged by the first song, Countin on the Count, composed
by Cartwright. The youths played as professionals, not missing a
note. Young girls dressed in red-sequined tops and black bottoms
graced the audience with jazz-worthy voices, their performance
delightful and enthusiastic throughout.
atmosphere was set for celebration and the audience was truly
receptive as schoolchildren watched their peers in admiration.
Black-and-white images of prominent jazz musicians flashed
across a screen as the band played seamlessly. It was an
honorable merging of old with new, paying homage to the legends
who paved the way. Each song performed was enjoyable and
inspirational, as students of varied cultural backgrounds played
with one accord conveying one message: music, jazz music.
several highlight moments that thrilled the audience,
Cartwright, a musician who exemplifies excellence in her
artistry, wowed observers with her ability to combine rap beats
and lingo with jazz music in her well known song, Talkin’ that
Jazz. The audience engaged in a “call and response” tribute
to the legend as she pumped her fist, moved her hips and talked
a lot of jazz.
many were clearly surprised by talented 17-year-old Kevin
Willis’ renditions of Rogers’ and Hart’s Blue Moon, and
Why Do Fools Fall In Love, written by Frankie Lyman. Willis’
voice was remarkably trained and mature, and his peers cheered
in amazement as the young aspiring musician commanded the stage.
What inspires his ability to sing with such confidence?
have been singing since I was a child,” Willis said. “I
discovered my voice by accident, as I sang a song heard on the
radio and my aunt thought that I was the radio.” As he enters
college next year, he said, he will pursue business and music to
further his career and his love of music and performing.
event concluded with the soothing sounds of Robin Avery and Paul
Banman, and their song of encouragement, a beckoning call for a
greater tomorrow, entitled Light the Way.
Women in Jazz South Florida’s vision of combining established
jazz musicians with youths who appreciate the art was a success.
The performances were a respectable tribute to jazz music.
Cartwright brilliantly entertained, while expanding the minds of
each child who participated and/or watched the performance.
peace through the arts,” she said, is her mission.”
is the soul of our community as it is the universal language,
Cartwright added, therefore, we can acquire peace and harmony
For more information visit www.wijsf.com