Youth Music Exchange: Girls Rock x Jazz Institute

 In The CAPE Blog, Youth Music Exchange

As part of the DCASE Initiative for the Year of Chicago Music, CAPE is curating the Youth Music Exchange project!

On Friday, May 14th, 2021, Girls Rock! Chicago and Jazz Institute of Chicago met to discuss their shared passions in music and to further their students’ relationship to music. The event was curated by CAPE and co-facilitated by Gabriella Hirsch from Girls Rock! Chicago and John Foster from Jazz Institute of Chicago.

Girls Rock x Jazz Institute

Girls Rock! Chicago is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a socially just community with girls, transgender youth, and gender non-conforming students in the Chicagoland area. The Jazz Institute of Chicago was founded in 1969 and promotes and nurtures jazz In Chicago. 

What our students learned from the Youth Student Exchange

Throughout the night, students were able to express what music means to them. One student talked about their familial connection to music. A second student said music can be a tool to bridge differences in communities. And a third student added in the chat: “…the fact that [music] is just wiggly air, and it can make you feel that much emotion is just wack.”

One of the facilitators asked the students about the perceptions of gender equality in jazz. Many students shared how the jazz field is often male musicians. One student stated, “Without seeing representation at the highest level, it can be difficult to see yourself in the field.” However, a second student said, “I think the culture is changing as people are becoming more aware of the disparities.”

In closing, the students expressed their excitement to reunite with their musician peers and meet new musicians. There were even students in the chat who wanted to get together to jam once it was safe to do so!

Thank you to Girls Rock! Chicago and Jazz Institute of Chicago a great YME event!

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