California Jazz & Blues Museum

Harmony Classes for children – An after-school class offering instruments, music lessons, group playing,concert performances, progress and check-ins, field trips, family support and college scholarships. The Los Angeles Harmony project services 2000 students across an area of 120 sq. miles. Youths meet three times a week. CJBM adds vocal instruction, theatre arts, and mentoring programs for all age levels.

Jazz Hot Seat – one-on-one interviews, performance and Q&A with jazz and blues greats. The shows are masterclasses for students, televised on local cable TV, allowing the students to ask questions of guests, who are the very greatest and most regarded performers and creators of jazz and blues. It is an
opportunity for artists to give back, while offering precious insights to a new generation of performers. The guests are invited to give short performances.

Vocal Workshop and Classes – conducted personally by Barbara Morrison, a UCLA associate professor of ethnomusicology, these classes teach how to: 1) sing jazz standards in various tempos, including ballads, medium swing, fast swing, and bossa nova; 2) improve your stage presence and use of microphone; 3) identify your vocal range most comfortable for singing jazz; 4) distinguish characteristics of early blues singers and their influence on jazz; 5) apply good breath management and tone while singing in a jazz style; 6) strengthen your articulation of song lyrics; 7) use vocal inflections and dynamics appropriately; 8) alter the melodic and rhythmic phrasing in a song; 9) better hear chord changes within a song; 10) identify song forms common in jazz; 11) sing introductions and endings effectively.

First Thursday Blues – This monthly Barbara Morrison blues concert features great local players and vocalists. First Thursday Blues events showcase different Los Angeles area blues bands each month, with an emphasis on straight ahead blues of all regional styles. An open jam follows the concert
performance. Held at the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, the venue features a large stage with outstanding sound and lighting in a concert-like setting.

Open Showcase – This monthly event features music and spoken word at the BMPAC, with a different theme for each month throughout the year. The calendar includes special showcases for individual instruments, vocal stylings, and poetry.

Acting classes – Taught by local Los Angeles industry professionals, students develop a basic understanding of acting fundamentals. Using exercises and scene work, the class introduces students to the elements of dramatic action, text analysis, and character development, as well as the tools for releasing inhibitions and expanding vocal and physical range.

“I Wanna be Loved: Stories of Dinah Washington” – Barbara Morrison relives the stories of the music legend Dinah Washington in an excellently staged performance piece written by Michael Cornier and Ms. Morrison. Backed by the excellent Jimmy McConnell and his 18-piece orchestra, Barbara Morrison
embodies the mood and sensibilities of the great Dinah Washington. The show continues to impress audiences and critics alike with its uniquely crafted presentation paying tribute to Dinah Washington, and proving “What a Diff’rence a Day Made.”

California Jazz and Blues Museum exhibitions – California has long been considered one of the most important jazz locations in music history. The California scene fundamentally changed the way jazz is played, and established California as a center of jazz in America. Some of the most population jazz bands in the world were formed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in California. Some of the best-selling jazz music in the world was created in California, incorporating new approaches and musical techniques from around the world, developing the style of “cool jazz” or “West Coast jazz” movement of the 1940s and 1950s. California jazz and blues music is a goodwill ambassador, known throughout the world. Jazz and blues musicians are also well known for their positions against racial discrimination. The museum features ongoing exhibitions of important historical information about California jazz and blues music, its great performers, and its important place in California and music history. Founder and President Barbara Morrison brings her 21 years of experience as UCLA Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology – Jazz Studies
to shape the exhibits and programs.

Annual “Broadway in Leimert Park” event – Celebrate National Jazz Appreciation Month in April with a jam-packed lineup of tributes to all the greats, from Ella and Dizzy to Holiday and Sinatra and beyond. Each show features local jazz and blues favorites who’ll each take a turn saluting the world’s most famous
jazz vocalists and musicians. Broadway in Leimert Park is produced by the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the California Jazz and Blues Museum in this historic section of the city Los Angeles.

Jazz in the Alley – Held the last Sunday evening of every month, Jazz in the Alley is a unique opportunity for local businesses and residents to come together for free entertainment. Held in the alley behind the California Jazz and Blues Museum, the open microphone stage allows new talent an opportunity to learn from accomplished jazz musicians who also attend.

Muddy Waters Blues Festival – Now in its second year, our annual Muddy Waters Blues Festival features Bill Morganfield, Muddy Waters’ son, an accomplished blues player in his own right, and other important members of the Muddy Waters family. Held each June, the festival features other blues musicians and provides an important economic development opportunity for local businesses.

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