Celebrate International Jazz Day — and bebop pioneer Max Roach’s centennial — with some of the best young talent in the region. NJPAC and JAZZ HOUSE KiDS spotlight the next generation of jazz artists with performances by bands from East Side and Elizabeth High Schools, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS and TD Jazz for Teens. Hosted by Sheila Anderson of WBGO fame. International Jazz Day will be livestreamed.

Prepare to be wowed by the incredible talent of student ensembles from Newark’s surrounding areas:


East Side High School Jazz Band is in the developing stage. However, within the last three years they have been making a comeback in the music department and within the district under the directorship of Thaddeus Exposé. This band meets once a week with individual lessons during lunch and or after school throughout the week. The band focuses of improvisation, listening, leadership skills, composition, theory, history, arranging and building repertoire. The performances usually range from, in school performances, school concerts, visiting nearby elementary school performances, community events and performing along with assisting programs such as NJPAC, Jazz House Kids and School District events. East Side High School is delighted and honored to be a part of today’s event.

The Frank J. Cicarell Academy Advanced Jazz Band is one of four jazz bands at Elizabeth High School. Under the direction of Miss Meredith Foreman, the jazz program at Elizabeth High School has experienced rapid growth and success. In 2023, the Advanced Jazz Band placed in the top 3 at the NJAJE Region III State Finals competition. In September 2023, they had the honor of performing for the President of Portugal, Marcelo de Sousa, in a welcoming ceremony held at the Elizabeth PISC Club. Students at Frank J. Cicarell Academy are eager to learn as they continue their journey of self-expression, freedom, and creativity through the art of Jazz music.

The JAZZ HOUSE Afro-Latin Ensemble, directed by Juanga Lakunza, explores the foundations of Latin music and its fusion with jazz. From Caribbean to Brazilian music, the ensemble reviews the different rhythms and classics that gave birth to Latin Jazz in the 1940s and continues to develop to this day.

TD Jazz for Teens is a comprehensive and sequential jazz education program that develops well-rounded young performers through access to life-changing experiences. Students receive top-notch musical training and study with world-class working artists in courses including technique, theory and composition. The curriculum also includes rehearsals in large and small ensembles, private instruction, master classes with world-class musicians and GRAMMY Award-winning artists Christian McBride and Stefon Harris; vocal instruction and ensemble with jazz artist Jackie Jones; and a new composition and arranging class with saxophonist Lance Bryant. Students will have opportunities for artistic exchanges and performances within the community in addition to college and career exploration. Through participation in this hallmark program, students become more than musicians — they grow into exceptional people with confidence to take on the world.

This event is hosted by WBGO’s Sheila Anderson, and is in honor of Max Roach’s centennial. This event is free, but seating is limited, so register today!