Chicago – Acclaimed blues, jazz and diversity teacher/musician T.J. Wheeler, in conjunction with the non-profit Blues Bank Collective, is embarking on a new project called “The Katrina Children’s Jazz & Blues Education & Instrument Drive.” The goal is to bring functional used musical instruments to New Orleans school children. Wheeler plans to haul a trailer full of instruments to the Crescent City in early May.
The instrument drive is a key part of Wheeler’s renewal of the Blues, Jazz and
Diversity education programs that he began in New Orleans in the early 1990s.
Wheeler states, “The effects of Katrina have left many schools in New Orleans
still closed. Those open are severely in need of musical instruments. Supplying
the schools in this time of crisis will help insure that New Orleans music
students will carry on America’s most original musical art forms–jazz and blues.” The New Orleans Community in Schools Organization has chosen ten schools in
which Wheeler will conduct his award-winning education programs. Through these
programs, blues and jazz become windows into a myriad of subjects ranging from Black History to the Civil Rights Movement to even Hurricane Katrina itself. Over the last 17 years, the program has reached over 250,000 students on four continents.
The Blues Bank Collective is a non-profit 501(c)(3) diversity and education
organization based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The organization is seeking
economic donations to cover the overall expenses of the trip, and $1,100 has
been raised so far. Overall costs of the program are estimated at $3,800.
For more information on the project and regional drop off sites for instruments,
contact T.J. Wheeler at (603) 929-0654 or by e-mail write firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support this effort, send a donation. Make checks payable to the “Blues Bank Collective” with “Katrina Education” written in the memo section and mail it to 11 Brown Road, Hampton Falls, N.H., 03844. The Blues Bank Collective is a 501c(3) charity and all contributions are tax deductible.
For more general information on the program and the Blues Bank Collective, also
check out bluesbankcollective.org.