June 26, 2017


Mural at The Louis Armstrong Middle School

Mural at The Louis Armstrong Middle School

Though officially incorporated in December of 2003, The Jazz Drama Program (JDP) began as an idea through a 1998 Meet the Composer-New Music for Schools Grant awarded to jazz composer Eli Yamin and monies from The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.  That year saw a workshop production of a jazz musical composed by Yamin and Clifford Carlson.  The resulting effort, When Malindy Swings, based on a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, was a smash success.  National Public Radio’s Jazz Set with Branford Marsalis aired a 10-minute feature on the project nationwide.

This prompted Yamin and Carlson to write four more jazz musicals on their own over the next four years and in so doing, establish a groundbreaking idea in jazz education.  Combining the power of experiential learning with story telling and total immersion in the language and culture of jazz as a potent tool for communication, children experience jazz across the curriculum, as they never have before.

The Jazz Drama Program is based in New York and received its tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) status in September of 2004.

Download a FREE information packet about The Jazz Drama Program.