Let Freedom Swing brings outstanding jazz artists and performances to school audiences. Based on Wynton Marsalis and Sandra Day O’Connor’s conversations on jazz and democracy, Let Freedom Swing includes three in-schools jazz concerts throughout the year: Jazz and Democracy, Jazz and the Great Migration, and Jazz and Civil Rights.
Let Freedom Swing is only offered as a three-part series. Attendance for concerts cannot exceed 150 students and the same students must be in attendance for all three performances.
FALL 2019 Concert
Jazz and Democracy
October 7 – November 8, 2019
Jazz grew out of the African-American community in turn of the century New Orleans. It is a mingling of the musical expressions of all people who came to the United States, by choice or by force, as well those already living in America. This concert will illustrate the fundamentals of jazz and the ideals of American democracy through the lens of America’s greatest and most democratic art form.
WINTER 2020 Concert
Jazz and the Great Migration
January 6 – February 7, 2020
Huge numbers of African-Americans moved from the south to the industrial north in the decades following World War I. In cities such as Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City, African-American writers, artists, musicians, and political thinkers emerged at the forefront of American culture. This concert will focus on the innovations and achievements of this era, and the significance of the Great Migration in the development of jazz.
SPRING 2020 Concert
Jazz and Civil Rights
March 9 – April 10, 2020
The 1950s and 1960s were a time of social and political upheaval in America. This was reflected in the music of the era, and inspired some of the most passionate and emotional performances and compositions in the history of jazz. This concert will demonstrate how jazz can serve as a form of protest and as an instrument for social change.