Arts High Jazz Musicians Perform in Washington, D.C. and NJPAC for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Events


Hitting the high notes at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C. earlier this year, the Newark Public Schools Arts High School Jazz Combo represented their school and the district in a Jazz Informance hosted by Dr. J.B. Dyas, Director of Education at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Joined by Terell Stafford, one of today’s top jazz trumpeters, the students performed six pieces for an audience comprised of Thelonious Monk Institute staff members, U.S. Department of Education personnel, and faculty and students from local schools. Following the performance, the students shared their personal experiences as musicians and how they developed an appreciation for Jazz. One of the Arts High School students, drummer Derek Fykes, has just been awarded a full scholarship to attend the internationally renowned Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop, at the University of Louisville (KY) on July 6-11.

Derek’s message from Dr. J. B. Dyas read: “On behalf of our chairman Herbie Hancock and everyone at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, it is my pleasure to inform you that out of all the students attending the 11 performing arts high schools around the nation that we support, YOU have been awarded our full scholarship to attend the internationally renowned Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop. Congratulations!”

Additionally, the Arts High School Jazz Sextet will perform a FREE public concert on Friday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m. (Chase Room) – along with internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist and recording artist Bobby Watson, as well as students from NPS’ Barringer, Arts, East Side and Science Park High Schools – at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (1 Center St., Newark). The concert is presented by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, in conjunction with Newark Public Schools and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). Under the direction of teacher/flutist Lawrence Liggins and saxophonist Anthony Ware, the sextet is comprised of trumpeter Carlos Juncal; trombonist Craig Jacobs; guitarist Rahsaan Pickett; pianist Galo Inga; bassist Joseph Quiles; and drummer Derek Fykes.

The concert is made possible by The Prudential Foundation, which provides year-round music programs at Arts High and other Newark public schools through the Monk Institute. Watson will serve as artist-in-residence during the three days leading up to the concert. The event marks the culmination of the Institute’s 2013-2014 National Performing Arts High School Jazz Program, which helps prepares students in Newark and eight other cities across the nation to become jazz’s next generation.