And finally, as Jazz Arts Project tradition each year on the final weekend: “Legends and Lions” in jazz. Students from the Jazz Arts Academy Summer Session perform an opening set followed by a set featuring master Jazz artist professionals, in this case Winard Harper and Jeli Posse. This is exactly what The Jazz Arts Project’s vision is about; the pairing of young students with masters of the art form, giving them the opportunities and the spark that can ignite either a career path or simply an enduring love of the music to honor and cherish.
Jazz Drummer, Band Leader, Composer, Educator, Winard Harper is dedicated to “bringing Jazz to where it is needed”. Constantly in reverence of his predecessors while remaining innovative in his own right, Harper has been among the most celebrated drummers in jazz for many years. He is a virtuoso on the drum set and the balafon, the West African equivalent of the marimba, he is a sought after collaborator at home and abroad, a band leader of his quartet, his quintet and his exciting band the Jeli Posse, a regular with the legendary New York clubs, an educator of future jazz professionals, an educator through his kids programs, an events organizer – successfully running the weekly Fish Fry Jazz Jam and the Sunday “Meet the Artist” Series at Moore’s Lounge in Jersey City. Bringing Jazz to the community from which it originated, relating the story of The Great American Art Form, the only music that is 100% “made in America”, spreading the joy that Jazz brings is the quest to which Winard Harper is dedicating himself.