Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop is a JazzFresno project offering jazz performance and education opportunities to kids in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley.
Any young musician in the upper elementary grades through high school is invited to participate. The programs are specifically targeted to kids who do not have access to jazz programs in their home schools. The Milestones mission is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to participate in America’s true original art form and to develop the self-confidence, social skills and life-long memories that come with that participation.
Registration for year two of the Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop school-year program is now in progress! This year, the program features two new directors for the intermediate program: Eva Scow and Otto Lee.
Eva Scow is a well-known musician on the local scene. She was on the faculty for our summer program and was a big hit with students and parents alike. Ms. Scow brings an enthusiasm for the music and a passion for teaching kids that is contagious.
Joining Ms. Scow in working with our intermediate students is Otto Lee. Mr. Lee is another fixture on the local jazz scene who is highly regarded for his improv skills. He has a master’s degree in music performance and is a veteran of the CSU Fresno Jazz Band 'A'. Mr. Lee will also be leading the jazz ensemble at Fresno Pacific University this year.
Not to be forgotten, our advanced directors, Brian Hamada and Larry Honda, are back for another year! Two of the area's most highly regarded jazz musicians and educators, they are making plans for another year of great jazz.
Another exciting change to the program is the addition of a "jazz theory" component. In addition to a 90-minute ensemble rehearsal, Milestones students will also take part in a 30-minute jazz theory class each week. You can learn more about the Milestones program on the project website at MilestonesJazz.org.
Acclaimed jazz guitarist, instructor André Bush dies at age 45
By Joshua Tehee
The Fresno Bee
August 11, 2014
André Bush was on a quest to realize his musical vision with a single instrument — the guitar. The longtime Fresno jazz guitarist and instructor recently had been working on new compositions with a guitar trio with that goal in mind.
Mr. Bush died unexpectedly Aug. 8 at the age of 45.
"He had a wide-eyed wonder for the beauty of guitars," says Roger Perry, a friend and local musician who met Mr. Bush more than 30 years ago while working at Archer's Music in the Tower District.
Perry was just a teenager at the time and Andre was 11 or 12.
"Even when he was a kid, he could play. He was not just good for a little kid, either. He could play," Perry says.
Over the years, the Roosevelt School of the Arts graduate earned national acclaim for his skills as a studio musician and touring guitarist. His collaboration with singer Nnenna Freelon on the album "Blueprint of a Lady" earned him a Grammy nomination in 2005.
Just last year, music critic Scott Yanow cited Mr. Bush as one of the 342 most significant guitarists in jazz history in his book "The Great Jazz Guitarists: The Ultimate Guide."
As an instructor, Mr. Bush released his own book/CD package "Modern Jazz Guitar Styles" through Mel Bay Publications in 2005.
He also taught theory, history and improvisation classes at The Jazzschool in Berkeley and recently had close to a dozen students at The Voice Shop in Fresno.
Before his death, he had interned as a counselor with Salvation Army Fresno ARC and was in the midst of writing "Art and Soul: Understanding Psyche and the Creative Process," which focused on the psychology of creative development.
There is much to be missed from Mr. Bush's passing, Perry says, including the sense of joy the guitarist seemed to get from music, whether he was teaching or playing.
"He got something from a song, more than he gave to it," Perry says.
A celebration of Mr. Bush's life will be held 2 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Belmont Country Club, 8253 E. Belmont Ave. A memorial concert is being planned for October.
Donations in Mr. Bush's memory may be made to JazzFresno, the Sophia Bush college fund or a charity of choice.
Born: June 3, 1969
Died: Aug. 8, 2014
Occupation: Musician, instructor
Survivors: Parents Celsa and Scott Shewan; daughter Sophia Bush; former wife Dawna Mickaels Bush and partner Kate McKnight
Services: A celebration of life will be held 2 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Belmont Country Club, 8253 E. Belmont Ave., Fresno
Read more here: Fresno Bee article
JazzFresno is a private non-profit 501(c)3 organization with a mission to promote jazz in the Central San Joaquin Valley through education and performance. JazzFresno envisions a Central San Joaquin Valley that appreciates and supports jazz. JazzFresno is made up of hundreds of members who wish to see the Valley's jazz scene grow and prosper.
Major ongoing programs & activities: