Masters of Jazz: The Next Generation
“My job in life is to teach people the way I was taught. To give them what I was given. You can’t keep it unless you give it away.” – Thara Memory
As founder of the American Music Program in Portland, Oregon, jazz trumpeter, conductor, educator and composer Thara Memory is inspiring a new generation of jazz musicians though his commitment to education and mentorship. His nationally recognized magnet school educates seventh to twelfth grade students in American jazz music.
In “Masters of Jazz: The Next Generation, Oregon Art Beat profiles Memory’s work and explores the important relationship between mentor and mentee. Viewers get a closer look inside Memory’s classroom, where he rigorously prepares young musicians for some of the top performing arts colleges in the country and gives them a deeper understanding of the art of jazz.
Former students such as bassist and composer Esperanza Spalding and saxophonist and composer Hailey Niswanger have gone on to acclaimed professional careers. The women describe their experiences working with Memory from a young age and the impact his instruction and approach had on them while studying under his tutelage.
The program also includes performances by Spalding, Niswanger and others who were part of the August 2012 “Divas of Jazz” concert. Benefitting the American Music Program this concert focused on the accomplishments and contributions of women in jazz today.
Thara Memory extends quality mentorship to the new generation of jazz musicians.
Sixteen-year-old jazz pianist Charles Brown III talks about what it's like to audition for the prestigious Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra.
Spalding performs her Grammy award-winning song with co-arranger and mentor Thara Memory.
Esperanza Spalding and the Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra perform Ray Charles' classic tune.