Fun With Jazz
The "Fun With Jazz" Educational Program is a jazz-based educational program developed by Ray Reach and sponsored by the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. The program is presented in schools and other institutions. Beginning in 2006, Reach and selected accompanists have presented free one-hour lessons introducing jazz through live performance and interactive activities.
The program, which was originated under the sponsorship of UAB's Alys Stephens Center, includes four basic presentations, any of which can be customized for a particular need. The very first Fun With Jazz show was presented at the Alys Stephens Center as part of the ASC Kid's Club series on February 19, 2006. The show was such a success that discussions were begun immediately about "...taking the show on the road..." out to schools and organizations. Thus, the Fun With Jazz program got its start.
- Fun With Jazz I: The basic history of jazz, the concept of improvisation, various jazz instruments, notable musicians and more.
- Fun With Jazz II, The Musicians: A more detailed look at some of the most important musicians in jazz history.
- Fun With Jazz III, Jazz Today: The influence of jazz in contemporary music and the life of modern musicians and vocalists.
- Fun With Jazz IV, Workshops on Jazz Styles and Improvisational Techniques: For jazz ensembles in middle school, high school and college, a one or two day intensive workshop covering jazz performance and improvisation techniques.
The Fun With Jazz faculty is made up of the members of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars. The roster of musicians includes Tommy Stewart, Omari Thomas, Gary Wheat, Dave Amaral, Dave Miller, Cleveland Eaton, Abe Becker, John Nuckols, Sonny Harris, Chad Fisher, Carlos Pino, and director / pianist Ray Reach.