Free Kids Jazz Concert Series

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WBGO Kids Jazz Fall 2014 Concert Series


Discover America's original musical art form at the WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series - a free concert series bringing jazz culture and performance to your neighborhood. WBGO presents these concerts during the Spring and Fall on Saturday afternoons. These interactive, hour-long concerts give kids opportunities to learn about the distinct qualities of jazz, and why it's a reflection of our community, our nation, and our world! Q&A sessions with the artists, small gifts, and a chance to win a door prize are just some of the reasons to come out and join us!


All concerts begin at 12:30 PM, and last for approximately one hour.

Tickets are handed out in the lobby of each venue on the day of performance only and on a first-come, first-served basis. The concerts are free and open to the general public. Adults must be accompanied by a child. We cannot guarantee seats prior to each program, except for groups with reservations.

All venues are handicapped accessible. Sign language interpretation of performances by request.

  • the firey string sistas Pianist

    Shamie Royston

    Saturday, October 4, 12:30 pm
    South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
    1 SOPAC Way
    South Orange, NJ 07079

    Bebop to Hip Hop

    Through her performance, Royston will show young listeners examples of how jazz has influenced the music of today.
  • courtney bryan and brandee younger Pianist

    Onaje Allan Gumbs

    Saturday, October 11, 12:30 pm
    Newark Museum
    49 Washington St
    Newark, NJ 07102

    Connecting to Jazz

    Young people audience members will participate in the concert through group interaction, helping musicians to match music to different cartoon characters and even composing musical compositions.

    The Newark Museum is graciously opening their museum space for guests to tour free following the concert.

  • new york voices Drummer

    Michael Carvin

    Saturday, October 18, 12:30 pm
    Newark Symphony Hall
    1030 Broad St
    Newark, NJ 07102

    Why Are The Drums Important In Music?

    Master drummer, Michael Carvin explains and demonstrates how the drums create the style of the music. See and hear how, by altering the rhythm, any song can change from rock ‘n’ roll to bossa nova to bolero to jazz.
  • ignacio berroa Vocalist

    Lauren Hooker

    Saturday, October 25, 12:30pm
    Clinton Elementary School
    27 Berkshire Rd
    Maplewood, NJ 07040

    Music Legends presents Jazz 4 Kids

    Audiences will be lead through the origins of Jazz including a participatory African “Call and Response” song, Slave songs and spirituals, improvisational Scat singing, and Jazz’s global influences on music like Calypso. Children will be exposed to jazz legends Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis. Allen Farnham on piano, Bill Moring on bass, Vince Ector on drums, and Lauren Hooker vocals and djembe drum.
  • victor jones Trumpeter

    Eddie Allen

    Saturday, November 1, 12:30 pm
    Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts
    35 Winans St
    East Orange, NJ 07017

    Various Styles of Music

    Allen will teach young audience members about some familiar, and some new, musical genres like R&B, reggae and the ¾ waltz; then perform examples for the crowd.

Transportation Fund

The KJCS Transportation Fund aims to alleviate the barriers of access between youth and the free concerts of the WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series. Groups working with youth ages 4-18 who want guaranteed seating at the Kids Jazz Concerts and transportation funding to attend the concerts should apply. Established groups, schools and 501c3 organizations, specifically in Essex County and communities in need of cultural enrichment hold priority for funding, but all groups are encouraged to submit an application. More information about the Kids Jazz Concert Series Transportation Fund is available with the application below and by e-mailing

The KJCS Transportation Fund - Application Guidelines

Spring 2014 Coloring Poster: "A great day at WBGO" By Ramsess

Great day at W B G O Click to download large version

Artists included in "A Great Day at WBGO," and the print's inspiration, the iconic photo "A Great Day in Harlem," in alphabetical order:

Red Allen, Buster Bailey, Count Basie, Emmett Berry, Art Blakey, Scoville Browne, Lawrence Brown, Buck Clayton, Bill Crump, Vic Dickenson, Roy Eldridge, Art Farmer, Bud Freeman, Dizzy Gillespie, Tyree Glenn, Benny Golson, Sonny Greer, Johnny Griffin, Gigi Gryce, Coleman Hawkins, J.C. Heard, Jay C. Higginbotham, Milt Hinton, Chubby Jackson, Hilton Jefferson, Osie Johnson, Hank Jones, Jimmy Jones, Jo Jones, Taft Jordan, Max Kaminsky, Gene Krupa, Eddie Locke, Marian McPartland, Charles Mingus, Miff Mole, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Pettiford, Rudy Powell, Luckey Roberts, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Rushing, Pee Wee Russell, Sahib Shihab, Horace Silver, Zutty Singleton, Stuff Smith, Rex Stewart, Maxine Sullivan, Joe Thomas, Wilbur Ware, Dicky Wells, George Wettling, Ernie Wilkins, Mary Lou Williams, Lester Young.

Not included in the original photo:
Joe Williams at top left with microphone and Rashaan Roland Kirk with saxophones in back right.

More about the original "A Great Day in Harlem," available here:
Behind 'A Great Day In Harlem': Jean Bach On Piano Jazz
"A Great Day in Harlem," the film

The WBGO Kids Jazz Series is sponsored by

  • The Agnes Varis Trust - Supporting Affordable Access to the Arts, Education, and Healthcare
  • United Airlines
  • PNC Foundation
  • Turrell Fund
  • Investors Bank
  • NJPAC Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens
  • New Jersey State Council on the Arts
  • Robert A. Mills Foundation

Photos from last season

WBGO Kids Jazz Suggested Reading