PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Over the next few months, students throughout the Portland Public Schools will have the opportunity to learn about jazz music.
Joe Maita, the President of PDX Jazz who runs the program Jazz in Schools, says jazz music is the expression of deep human emotion.
“It was the sort of music that people listened to to make themselves happy through their hard times,” Maita says.
Jazz became popular during WWII and the Civil Rights Movement, and Maita says the message is still relevant today, particularity for kids.
“When kids learn about jazz history, they also learn about American history and particularly African American history because jazz was the centerpiece of 20th century America,” Maita says.
The Jazz in Schools program takes place during art class. Students will experience the music through their own art by creating jazz album covers after listening to music.
“What I’m asking the kids to do is to create art when they hear the music. What does the music look like?” Maita asks.