February 6, 2016

Welcome to the Jazz Drama Program site!

Our Mission:

The Jazz Drama Program is a non profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving young people’s lives and their communities through experiences in jazz and theatre.

What We Do:

1. THE MATERIALS – We write and develop original, age appropriate jazz musicals with engaging stories that incorporate the cathartic power of swing and blues and can be presented by students and community groups anywhere.

2. THE METHODS – We develop and employ unique teaching methods that engage the whole child through immersion in jazz arts including storytelling, acting and dancing, along with healthy and expressive singing guided by the principals of Somatic Voicework, the LoVetri Method.

The Jazz Drama Program (JDP) was founded in 2003 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization by jazz musician Eli Yamin and teacher Clifford Carlson to get young people involved in and excited about jazz.  By commissioning new jazz musicals, recording CD’s and distributing scores and scripts and offering professional development for teachers and workshops for students, The Jazz Drama Program is building new audiences and stakeholders in the jazz arts through the mediums of storytelling, music, theatre, dance and visual arts.  To date, Jazz Drama Program musicals have seen over 80 performances in fourteen states and four countries literally involving thousands of young people and their families in sustained exposure and involvement in the jazz arts.


Latest News

Open Jazz Arts Master Class – Feb 15

Open Jazz Arts Master Class Acting - MedThe Jazz Drama Program is hosting a series of Open Jazz Arts Master Classes for students ages 10-17. In these free 2-hour masterclasses, students are introduced to jazz tools like syncopation, swing, and making a soulful sound through singing, dancing and acting. The next class is President’s Day, February 15 from 5-7pm at 244 Rehearsal Studio, 244 West 54th Street.

Select students participating in the master class will be invited to join Zah! The Jazz Drama Program Youth Ensemble which will receive professional training in the jazz arts for 12 weekly sessions beginning Mondays in April and culminating with a performance in June. All Jazz Drama Program vocal training is based on the principals of Somatic Voicework™, the LoVetri Method for healthy and expressive singing.

We are looking for kids who want to sing and dance to jazz.

Register here

Open Jazz Arts Singing Master Class – Jan 18

Open Jazz Arts Master Class Singing MedRegister Here

Blues Diplomacy Tour to Russia 2015

Jazz Arts For A Better World at Tchaikovsky Music School in Yekaterinburg, Russia

Jazz Arts For A Better World at Tchaikovsky Music School in Yekaterinburg, Russia

December 4-The Jazz Drama Program in partnership with the U.S. Consulate in Yekaterinburg, Urals, Russia and Yekaterinburg’s Blues and Bottle Festival sponsored a nine-day tour of The Eli Yamin Blues Band October 24-November 2. The band was led by Eli Yamin, piano and voice with Antoinette Montague, voice, Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax, drums and voice, Ben Stapp, tuba. Seven concerts, five educational workshops, along with radio and TV appearances reaching thousands in person and hundreds of thousands via media, made a cross-cultural splash for good will between the United States and Russia during a politically challenging time.

Highlights of the tour included the above pictured workshop with the wonderfully talented and skilled students of the Tchaikovsky Music School with Elina Kerzhkovskaya, director and Julia Jaye Kiprijanova, woodwind instructor. The banner pictured above, “Jazz Arts For a Better World,” was a gift made by Jazz Drama Program students in New York for their musical colleagues in Yekaterinburg.

Here are more photos from the Tchaikovsky Music School Workshop…

All band members performed and taught as part of the educational outreach of the tour including both a workshop and concert in Verkhnyaya Salda pictured below…

The band was was thrilled to see so many young embracing blues and jazz and had a great time working with college students from the Tchaikovsky Music College with jazz director, Alexey Bykov.

Eli Yamin and pianists at Tchaikovsky Music College in Yekaterinburg, Urals, Russia

Eli and Jazz Director Alexey Bykov

Eli Yamin and Alexey Bykov, Jazz Director at Tchaikovsky Music College, Yekaterinburg, Urals, Russia

Discussions are underway to mount a Jazz Drama Program musical in Yekaterinburg next year.  Stay tuned!

Thanks to our partners at the U.S. Consulate in Yekaterinburg, especially Maria Taff, tour coordinator and Public Affairs Officer, Sarah Saperstein.  Also, big thanks to the Blues and Bottle Festival’s Lyubov Bondarenko for helping organize concerts and workshops in Polevskoy, Nevyansk, Irbit, Verkhnyaya Salda, Kamensk-Uralsky, and Yekaterinburg.  Thank-you to all the students. teachers and great listeners who attended our concerts and participated in our workshops. We hope you will keep listening to and swinging to the blues and hope to see you again next year! We’ll be working hard for Jazz Arts For a Better World!!!