Miyagi-New Orleans Youth Jazz Exchange

New Orleans Youth Jazz Band to Perform with Japanese Children of Disaster-Stricken Region that Received Donations of Musical Instruments from the U.S.

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with Tipitina’s Foundation and the Wonderful World Jazz Foundation proudly presents the “Miyagi-New Orleans Youth Jazz Exchange Program” from October 4 to 15. A student jazz band from New Orleans, LA, will be invited to perform concerts with children living in Ishinomaki, Kesennuma, Tagajo and Sendai areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
The invited band from New Orleans is composed of Tipitina’s Foundation’s own Tipitina’s Intern Program Band and the O. Perry Walker High School Brass Band, totaling 16 performers. The jazz band, together with the Ishinomaki Junior Jazz Orchestra, Kesennuma’s The Swing Dolphins, Tagajo’s elementary school jazz band “Bright Kids” among other children of disaster-stricken areas will take workshops led by professional musicians from both the U.S. and Japan, and perform “Satchmo” Louis Armstrong’s beloved favorite “When the Saints Go Marching In”, “What a Wonderful World” and other pieces together.
Following Hurricane Katrina, the Wonderful World Jazz Foundation raised and donated over 10 million yen to New Orleans, the home of jazz music.  To repay their kindness, one month following the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, the children of Kesennuma received musical instruments from New Orleans.  Through this program, the children of New Orleans who sent the instruments will come to the disaster-stricken Tohoku region to show their support for recovery through jazz.

Wochi Kochi Magazine carries the program report written by the Japan Foundation staff.

Dreaming of Satchmo'Jazz Creates the Bond of Friendship between Japanese and American Youthwochikochi

Photo Report

Pre-departure orientation held in New Orleans

Photo of Pre-departure orientation held in New Orleans Prior to the visit to Japan from October 5, the Japan Foundation held an orientation session at O. Perry Walker High School in New Orleans on September 17. The Honorary Consul General of Japan Ms. Donna Fraiche encouraged participating students to fulfill their role as representatives of the USA based on their experience of the tragic natural disaster. The participants learned about the goal of the program, the overall view of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Japanese climate, the way of living in Japan and manners of Japanese people, in addition to practicing greetings in Japanese. At the end of the orientation, the students carried out a brainstorming session with fellow participants to clarify what they should, can and want to achieve through the program, writing out all of their ideas on sticky notes and putting them on a large sheet of paper to share with other students. Following the orientation, some students started using Japanese greetings to practice, which shows that they are increasingly looking forward to their first visit to Japan.

New Orleans Youth Jazz Exchange

Children jazz bands in Ishinomaki, Kesennuma ,Sendai.

Organizers: Tipitina’s Foundation, Wonderful World Jazz Foundation, The Japan Foundation
Management and Production Support: Miyagi Music Support Network, East Japan Earthquake Recovery Support JSF Project

Debriefing Session and Mini Concert in Tokyo

Guest speakers will give an outline of the program, the longstanding history of exchange between Japan and New Orleans, and the mutual assistance that was triggered by the devastating natural disasters through photos and videos. A mini concert will follow, featuring the high school student band from New Orleans, which collaborated with children jazz bands in Ishinomaki, Kesennuma and Sendai. Please come and join us to see the lively performance by students who will lead future exchanges between Japan and the USA.

Date: October 11, 2012 (Thurs), 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Venue: Yotsuya Kumin Hall
87 Naitomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Yotsuya Kumin Center 9F
To apply, please visit http://bit.ly/QAFpzX(Available to the first 400 people who apply; free admission)
The details of the debriefing session are available here.(PDF:373KB)

Miyagi-New Orleans Youth Jazz Exchange

October 7 (Sun) 2PM Performance with "Ishinomaki Junior Jazz Orchestra"
(Ishinomaki Machinaka Marche)
October 8 (Mon) 2PM Performance with Kesennuma junior jazz orchestra
"The Swing Dolphins" (Kesennuma Street Live Music Festival)
October 9 (Tue) 6PM Performance with Tagajo elementary school jazz band
"Bright Kids" (Sendai-shi Miyagino Kumin Center)
October 10 (Wed) 4PM Exchange with Tohoku Gakuin Middle School/High School
Wind Ensemble/Marching Band
October 11 (Thu) 7PM Briefing Session / Mini Concert (Yotsuya Kumin Hall, Tokyo)
  • Tipitina’s Intern Band
    Led by Artistic Director Donald Harrison Jr., this jazz band features a unique blending of New Orleans musical sounds such as second line, R&B, hip-hop (New Orleans Afro-American roots culture), and reggae rhythms. Running for the last nine years, the Tipitina’s Internship Program band includes music-loving youth ages 13 through 19 and regularly performs throughout the New Orleans area with their mentor, Donald Harrison, Jr.
  • O. Perry Walker’s Chosen Ones Brass Band
    Led by conductor Wilbert Rawlins Jr., this brass band composed of 9th to 12th grade students features New Orleans’ legendary rhythmic beats and brass sounds. The band regularly performs in school functions and parades.
  • Ishinomaki Junior Jazz Orchestra
    This amateur jazz orchestra is comprised of students from Ishinomaki, Higashimatsushima, and Onagawa.  It was founded in June of 2012 to encourage the people of the Ishinomaki region in recovery efforts through its big band jazz sounds.
  • Kesennuma junior jazz orchestra “The Swing Dolphins”
    Formed in 1993, the band passes down the appreciation of music from the musicians to the children of the Kesennuma region.  Comprised of Kesennuma children from 5th to 8th grade, the ensemble performs jazz as well as bossa nova, Latin music, and other genres of music.
  • Tagajo elementary school jazz band “Bright Kids”
    Hailing their motto, “Our shining children will light the way for Japan’s future,” this group has performed extensively within Miyagi prefecture and released live albums in 2005 and 2006.  With the receipt of donations of musical instruments from New Orleans following the earthquake, they have been able to continue their activities.
  • Tipitina’s Foundation
    The Foundation was founded in 2003 as an arm of the renowned live music venue, Tipitina’s, in New Orleans, the home of jazz music. The Foundation was created to support and preserve the unique music culture of New Orleans through supporting childhood music education, the professional development of adult musicians, and the increased viability of Louisiana music as a cultural, educational, and economic resource.  In 2005, Tipitina’s Foundation conducted disaster relief efforts to assist musicians who were affected by the hurricane, and to date, has given over $2.5 million worth of instruments to New Orleans and Louisiana school music programs.  The Foundation has also served as hub for donations of musical instruments from New Orleans to affected areas in the Tohoku region after the earthquake.
  • Wonderful World Jazz Foundation
    Founded in 1994 by jazz musicians Yoshio and Keiko Toyama, the Society aims to pass on a spirit of peace through love and art to people all over the world through the jazz of Louis Armstrong, a.k.a. “Satchmo”. In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, the Foundation spearheaded efforts to raise money to support musicians and children whose lives were affected by the disaster.  After the Tohoku earthquake, the Foundation, along with the Miyagi Music Support Network, acted as a contact for disaster relief from New Orleans.
  • Miyagi Music Support Network
    Created by the Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Support JSF Project (organized by the Sendai Jozenji Street Jazz Festival) and music-loving volunteers, the Network aims to offer support for recovery beyond donations of material goods.  By extending the members’ networks they have been able to accurately and smoothly create better living conditions in which victims can receive energy and comfort from music and regain their hopes and dreams.
  • The Japan Foundation
    The Foundation is Japan's public institution dedicated to sharing Japanese culture and language with people throughout the world.  By presenting diverse aspects of Japanese culture, the Foundation creates platforms of communication and understanding between the peoples of the world and Japan.  Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, it has been playing its part in assisting the reconstruction efforts of Tohoku region by organizing symposia and cultural exchange programs abroad.

Jazz Exchange between Japan and New Orleans

One month after the earthquake in eastern Japan, musical instruments from New Orleans were delivered to the Kesennuma children's jazz band The Swing Dolphins, whose instruments had been washed away by the tsunami. The donated instruments from the home of jazz music were an act of repaying the kindness for the over 10 million yen of donated funds following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, collected by Toshio and Keiko Toyama of the Wonderful World Jazz Foundation from the people of Japan. The continued exchange through music between Japan and New Orleans led to this visit and performance program. The Swing Dolphins of Kesennuma, who were able to revive their activities after receiving the donated instruments from New Orleans, plan to continue the exchange next year by going to New Orleans to give a concert of appreciation.

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