Organizations and Presenters
absolute delight, the program was excellent and engaging, participatory
throughout! Mike and Laura are accomplished, talented and very personable
performers. They immediately connected with the audience and led us gently
from conceptualizing (what does that song make you feel?) to keeping time
to vocalizing and even drumming along! A confirmed non-singer, I left with
the intention of signing up for jazz lessons, which I plan to act on today!
I hightly recommend this program for all ages."
Linda Marsella, Director, Mariposa Museum, Peterborough,
I first heard Michael and Laura in concert I was struck by their clarity,
their authentic jazz stylings and their professionalism. They are gifted,
original and imaginative, but sufficiently steeped in the tradition of the
jazz immortals. When I presented them at the Parkway Playhouse, I was impressed
by their preparation, cooperation, attention to production details and finally
the performance. A memorable evening of both carefully rehearsed and improvisational
jazz and show tunes left an admiring audience clamoring for more."
Bill Dreyer, Managing Director, Parkway Playhouse, Burnsville,
Grand Monadnock Arts Council presented the Fall Arts in the School Program
called "Jazz in Schools" from October 24th through the 27th. The
in-school educational experience presented Jazz Insight, who bridged the
ever-widening gap between accomplished jazz artists and students unfamiliar
with the art form. Michel Kolodny and Laura Pierce are the co-directors
of Jazz Insight and bring a deep desire to reach out to students and draw
them into jazz. For many students in the Monadnock Region the intoductory
song "Meet the Flintstones" immediately sparked their interest.
One of the highlights of the week was a free public concert with area students
from three local high schools. Michael was able to guide the students through
each song and the result was a performance that excelled."
Jan Kos, President, Grand Monadnock Arts Council
Jazz Insight Program was a wonderful introduction to jazz for elementary
school children. It was obvious that you put a lot of thought into ways
to make jazz accessible to young children. I was particuarly impressed with
the comparison you make beetween the parts of the body and the members of
the band. The children loved the portion of the show where you allowed them
to choose a feeling and the band showed them how that feeling can be translated
into music. I hope you enjoyed performing as musch as we enjoyed watching
Jeannie Connolly Director, ConVal Elementary Schools
Arts Enrichment Program, Peterborough, NH
to thank you for the wonderful interactive performance, "Nursery Rhyme,
Jazz Time", that Friends of the Arts brought to Washington Rose Elementary
School in Roosevelt. Every child in grades K-3 thoroughly enjoyed the program.
It was a perfect inroduction to the elements of Jazz, and a wonderful reinforcement
of what they have been learning in music class. You really make jazz accessible
to these youngsters! What impressed me in particular was your rapport with
the children, the audience participation and the way in which the program
was organized. Each musical activity was carefully designed to demonstrate
the ingredients of jazz from improvisations, to scat singing, to feelings.
I loved the idea of "Old MacDonald Had a Band" to explain the
instruments, and the idea of comparing the instruments to parts of the body,
as well as the demonstration of how vocal and focial expressions can be
transferred to the instruments. Also, the caliber of the musicians in the
quintet was superb! I look forward to working with you and bringing this
experience to many other schools. Thanks again for all your cooperation
and attention to all the details necessary for the program. It's nice to
work with dedicated and responsible people!"
Lois Kipnis, Director of Arts Education, Locust Valley,
. totally professional in every respect, and, even more importantly, has
the rare ability to captivate an audience. Mr. Kolodny and his band have
my heartfelt recommendation."
Chuck Reichenthal, Program Director, Brooklyn Arts and
students and teachers alike felt the program that Mr. Kolodny offered was
insightful and interesting. It was apparent after observing his workshops
at the middle school that he knows his information and works well with students
to make learning enjoyable."
Denise Cook, Director, Toe River Arts Council, Spruce
ensemble did a great job of relating jazz and the blues to concepts the
children are already familiar with...the kids all wanted to try some improvisations
of their own on their 'Happening Day'."
Sara Sager, Director, Children's Arts in the Mountains
Program, Mars Hill, NC
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Arts and Entertainment
Feature WMUR TV News, Manchester, N.H. Kelly Horan-Jones, reporter January
23, 1999 (excerpts from the broadcast)
it truth in advertising. Just as their name promises, Jazz Insight's members
are something like jazz missionaries, taking their treasured music to the
uninitiated and making converts at every stop. .... Jazz Insight combines
a jazz devotee's passion with the patience and articulateness of a teacher.
Doing so requires breaking jazz down without watering it down. .... Louie
Armstrong said of jazz, 'If you have to ask, you'll never know.' Jazz Insight
takes a slightly different approach. They say, 'If you have to ask, we'll
help you find out'."
get to make their own music (story is about a Grade 4 Residency - The Young
Jazz Musician) Times-News Hendersonville, N.C. March 6, 1992 Harrison Metzger
(excerpts from the article)
kids, reveling in their newfound musical creativty, listened with a captive
enthusiasm as he [Kolodny] told them to go home and write their own eight-beat
song for today's class. 'I think this is a fun class - how you get to improvise
the songs and let the music come as you play,' said 9 year old Shawn Saunders,
as his classmates bounced out of the room after him. . . . 'In addition
to being a fun change from regular classes, music classes such as these
help kids learn to think creatively, a skill that helps them in all subjects',
he [Kolodny] said. 'This can spill over into academic pursuits - science
experiments, English essays, even mathematics. It enhances being creative
with other arts and sciences, gives them an experience they can relate to
something else.' . . . The kids get excited making up music that 'really
expresses who they are as an individual,' he said. At the same time, they
get a basic lesson in musical structure, style and history. . . . The students
eagerly played their 'home play' assignment from the previous night - improvisations
on 'Hot Cross Buns' and 'Mary Had a Little Lamb.' They then counted out
rhythms - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight - as he showed
them how to create a song from scratch on his saxophone. 'This is how we
can get a start composing a song that we feel in our heart and hear in our
ear,' he said. . . . . Kolodny ended the class with a 'jazz walk,' where
kids stepped, swung and danced to a jazz instrumental. One kid asked Kolodny
who listens to jazz, since most kids he knows like only 'head-banging' music.
'I perform a lot, and people of all ages come to hear me play jazz,' Kolodny
answered. 'You can like just what's popular and limit yourself, but there's
a whole world of music out there - why limit yourself?'"
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is wicked cool!" Sam Congdon, Age 7, Temple, NH
how to be a good audience. My favorite part of the show was when we sang
Bye Bye Blackbird."
Martina B., 8, Marlborough, N.H.
you for the performance. I had loads of fun. I hope you did too. I think
everyone did a great job. Thank you for coming."
Nicole Stone, 10, Sullivan, N.H.
part of the show was I listened."
Alex H., 7, Sullivan, N.H.
did our song. They did not talk all the time. They were nice to people."
Drew O., 6, Nelson, N.H.
that one song can be played many ways to sound really neat even if it's
only Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
Dan Ellingwood, Age 6, Hancock, NH
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has been a highlight of the year. Students still request to sing "Blackbird"
in music class. Long live Jazz! Thanks for the great concert and the inspiriation!"
Emily Hartshorne, Music and 4th Grade, Wells Memorial School,
Insight is a wonderful musical experience for children. Laura Pierce, Michael
Kolodny and their band's love of music is clearly communicated to children
and is what makes the program a success. The band's instruments and chosen
songs convey to children, in an age-appropriate manner, how jazz musicians
blend their voices with their instruements to create melodic moods. The
pacing and excitement of Jazz Insight makes this a wonderful experience
for children. After experiencing the program the students could identify
some of the feelings behind varying jazz styles, ranging from blues to scat.
Now when our classes hear jazz they are excited because they understand
more about jazz and think the music is fun."
Lori Groleau and Nancy O'Neill, 3rd and 1st Grades, PES, Peterborough,
kids loved the interactive pieces to this performance. More of this is recommended
for the future."
Ms. Kimball, 3rd Grade, Dublin Consolidated School, Dublin,
three musicians had a great sensitivity to kids and their developmental
Ms. Judkins, 3rd Grade, PES, Peterborough, NH
kids liked it. It was very child-friendly."
Ms. Gordon, 4th Grade, PES, Peterborough, NH
(music teacher) prepared the students well. Familiarity with the songs made
it even more interesting to them."
Ms. Cuddihee, 2nd Grade, PES, Peterborough, NH
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so powerful the way you began with a performance of a jazz tune and then
broke it down into simple concepts the children could understand and slowly
built it back up."
Monica Lehner, parent, Greenfield, NH
Insight lit up the eyes and ears of the children attending the special assembly
at PES in December. From the popping theme music of "Inspector Gadget"
to the sad melodies of some blues classics, Laura Pierce, Michael Kolodny
and their band spanned the wide range of jazz styles, including vivid renditions
of some of Ella Fitzgerald's best-known scat songs. Ever since my children
attended the Jazz Alive! program during assembly, they have been much more
open to listening to more complex, and somewhat experimental music at home.
Thank you Laura and Michael for enriching the music appreciation of our
Dr. Helfried C. Zrzavy, Parent of a 1st and 4th grader
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is such a great way to feel our emotions, to be creative and enjoy our human
experience. These are people who are are coming from a real rich jazz experience
and sharing some of that experience with us."
Wayne Woolridge, Principal, Jonathan Daniels Elementary
School, Keene, NH (excerpt from his introduction to theJazz Alive! performance)
children loved your program. It was like church!"
Dr. Wright, Principal, Washington Rose Elementary School,
New York (an all black, inner city school)
students enjoyed the music and learned a great deal about Jazz and The Blues.
. . I thank Michael for coming to Rosman Middle/High School and I recommend
him to other schools."
W. J. Cathey, Jr., Principal, Rosman High School, Rosman,
Kolodny worked well with our students at Brevard Middle School. He enhanced
their understanding of jazz as well as their love for music. His rapport
with staff was excellent. Mr. Kolodny brought an added dimension to our
musical program. I would recommend his program to anyone who has students
sincerely interested in the field of music and its interrelatedness to educational
John K. Tinsley, Principal, Brevard Middle School, Brevard,