Six Grenadian schools have been chosen to take part in the Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari Music Workshop for Young Musicians, in conjunction with the Traveling Guitar Foundation of the United States.
An invitation was extended to selected schools to send students to the workshop to be held at 10am on Saturday 29 June, at the Presentation Brothers College. The schools sending students are Presentations Brothers College, St. Joseph’s Convent, St. George’s, McDonald College, St. Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School, Grenada Boys’ Secondary School and Bishop’s College in Carriacou.
The Traveling Guitar Foundation is the brainchild of guitarist and songwriter Damon Marks who has performed and recorded with a wide range of notable musicians throughout his career, including Alicia Keys and Jermaine Paul, winner of the first season (2012) of the television competition The Voice. The organisation’s focus is to inspire children through music and education by ensuring that music education programmes are available to them in schools. Since 2010, the Foundation has provided musical equipment, guitar clinics, and support for music education programs across the United States, working to ensure that students have access to high-quality musical instruments and comprehensive instruction throughout their formative years.
The Traveling Guitar Foundation will also donate guitars to participating schools for their ongoing music education.
“I’ve always felt that the arts play a critical role in a child’s development in school,” said the Traveling Foundation’s Damon Marks. “My whole thing is basically this — as long as I know that these guitars are going to be given to children and that these children are going to be taught properly, I don’t mind going anywhere in the world to do it because it’s for the children, and they’re our future.”
According to Sandra Trim-DaCosta — Executive Director of the Foundation, the donation of the first-class guitars to schools in Grenada is made possible by both the Foundation and one of its primary sponsors, Schecter Guitars through the company’s Artist Relations Director Allan Steelgrave. Schecter instruments are played by some of the world’s leading guitarists including Damon Marks himself and the artist once again known as Prince.
Other Foundation sponsors include BulLion Entertainment, Google and Mogami Cables. The workshop in Grenada is also supported by the US Embassy and the Maria Holder Memorial Trust.
“This project with the Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari, marks the first time that the Traveling Guitar Foundation charity is working with students outside of the US.” said Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari Founder Tom Hinds. “The workshop is an opportunity for students between the ages of 11 and 16 from the secondary schools to gain exposure to guitar playing at the highest level. This event is a highlight of an already exciting Jazz Safari.”
The Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari takes place on 29–30 June in Grenada. The Traveling Guitar Foundation group, led by its US West Coast Director Derek McKeith will also perform as part of the festival on Saturday, 29 June at Mt Cinnamon Gardens. McKeith will be joined jazz/ R&B keyboardist Van Taylor of Taylor Made Jazz and Drummer Tim Webb in conducting the workshops with the students.
The Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari — Grenada is sponsored by Mount Cinnamon Resort & Beach Club, Flamboyant Hotel and Villas, LIAT, Grenada Board of Tourism, United Insurance, US Embassy, Sagicor, The Traveling Guitar Foundation (USA), Klassic AM, Coca Cola, Etang, Quinn Company Limited, Stoli, Presidente, El Dorado Rum, Grant’s Scotch Whiskey, Campari and Nedd’s Rental & Services.