Welcome to NEA Jazz in the Schools. The National Endowment for the Arts and Jazz at Lincoln Center have created these new materials to introduce you to the captivating sounds and stories of jazz and to build important connections for your students between the music and our nation’s history.
Jazz is one of America’s great indigenous art forms, born from generations of African Americans who synthesized different musical traditions into an entirely new sound. Jazz speaks profoundly of the American experience because of its democratic nature, both in its practice, through the collaborative and improvisational qualities of performance, and its important social role as an early meeting place for people of different races.
Jazz may well be considered America’s most influential and distinguished musical export. Its role in cultural diplomacy is significant, from broadcasts over Voice of America to overseas tours of jazz greats such as Paquito D’Rivera and Herbie Hancock.
The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to supporting the best of the American arts, to creating model programs of artistic excellence and broad national reach that expand audiences for the arts. With the resources and varied formats offered by this curriculum, we hope to enliven American history and bring a unique human perspective to events that make up our cultural heritage.
The NEA Jazz in the Schools Web site has been designated an Official Honoree by the 2009 Webby Awards.