Savannah Music Festival Receives Jazz.NEXT Grant

SWING CENTRAL, the nationally acclaimed high school jazz band competition and workshop produced by the Savannah Music Festival (SMF), is the subject of a new media project that utilizes technology to enhance the promotion of jazz music and education.

SMF is one of only five recipients of first-round funding from the national Jazz.NEXT initiative, also including NPR, Monterey Jazz Festival, Walker Art Center and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.

The project is funded by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

“Through this technology project, we’re making our unique jazz education efforts accessible to the masses,” remarks SMF Associate Artistic Director of Jazz Education, Marcus Roberts. “The internet is now a primary learning tool for people of all ages, and young people such as the participants in our Swing Central program will benefit greatly from the lessons, artist interviews and audio/video performances that will be hosted at swingcentraljazz. org.”

Over the next two years, the technology initiative will combine video and audio documentation of SMF’s jazz programs, social and other digital media, and traditional broadcast to promote its efforts to a broader audience, offer supplemental educational content to young jazz musicians, reinforce the creative and academic work of jazz artists, enhance communication between students and teachers, and connect members of the jazz community with each other.

The Center for New American Media from New York City has been selected to handle video documentary work relating to the project, and Heideldesign from Savannah will be SMF’s digital media partner.

In addition to its wide use within swingcentraljazz. org, the video documentation of the 2010 SWING CENTRAL program will be used to produce a documentary promoting the importance of mentorship and teamwork within the jazz tradition.

The Center for New American Media and its creative partners (Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, and Peter Odabashian) have created some of the most honored and critically praised documentaries on American life and culture over the past 25 years.

Twice winners of both the Peabody Award and the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award, their work, all of which premiered on public television, includes People Like Us: Social Class in America, Vote for Me: Politics in America, and American Tongues, which deals with American accents.

Heideldesign, managed by lead designer and owner, Lee Heidel, has been on the leading edge of web design and development since 1998.

Their web development work is featured on the newly redesigned savannahmusicfestival. org.

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