On July 20 and August 14, JazzReach Performing Arts and Education Association will present the Fresh Air Jazz Festival II, a series of live performances benefiting Fresh Air Fund Children, an organization that works with underprivileged children and gives them the opportunity to experience camp in a country setting.
The performances, made possible through a grant from the Music for Youth Foundation, will feature performances by the Metta Quintet, and will provide live jazz to more than 2,200 New York City youths attending Fresh Air Fund Camps in upstate New York. Last year’s Fresh Air Jazz Festival, which took place at camp Mariah in Fishkill, N.Y. included performances by Stefon Harris, Antonio Hart and Xavier Davis.
The Metta Quintet is the resident ensemble of JazzReach and its roster is always changing. Past members include saxophonist Mark Turner, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and pianist George Colligan. Metta’s current lineup features Mark Gross on alto and soprano saxophones, Marcus Strickland (pictured) on tenor and soprano saxophones, Joshua Ginsburg on bass, Helen Sung on piano and Jazz Reach founder H. Benjamin Schumann on drums. The Metta Quintet’s first album, Going to Meet the Man, was released on April 9, 2002 by Koch Jazz, and features new works by Rosenwinkel, Turner, Colligan, Brad Mehldau and Larry Goldings.
Founded in 1994, JazzReach is a nonprofit organization through which Schumann hopes to share his enthusiasm for jazz with young people. Special emphasis is placed on running programs in cities rarely served by other outreach programs. Since its inception, JazzReach has brought its “Get Hip!” and “Stolen Moments: The First 100 Years of Jazz” presentations to thousands of students on both the east and west coasts.
For More information on JazzReach and the Metta Quintet visit www.jazzreach.org.