left to right: tenor saxophonist Kit McClure, pianist and leader Bertha Hope,
P.S. 130 Principal Maria Nunziata, and bassist Jennifer Vincent
The incredible pianist Bertha Hope conquered an audience of over 300 kindergarten through 5th grade students yesterday at P.S. 130 in a performance in honor of Black History Month. Ms. Hope brought along Jennifer Vincent on bass and Kit McClure on tenor saxophone.
Playing traditional jazz standards written by several towering figures in jazz--Horace Silver, Duke Ellington, and Thelonious Monk--the trio tailored its performance to the audience of students by incorporating an interactive educational component.
Not only did the children hear an amazing luminary of this country’s greatest gift to the world--jazz--they also learned some music theory as they became familiar with some of the repertoire, including Horace Silver's "Song For My Father," Monk's "Well You Needn't," and the Billy Strayhorn favorite made popular by Duke Ellington, "Take The 'A' Train." Since the school's 2nd graders are currently working on a New York City subway system curriculum, the Strayhorn song fit in perfectly!
The children were engaged and couldn't have been happier.
We are forever indebted to The Jazz Foundation of America for making this event possible.
-- Text and photos courtesy of Kim Smith,
president of Kim Smith Public Relations