More than teaching jazz… building relationships to keep jazz alive.

About the Project

“These kids are the future of jazz…  There are many, many students who are extremely talented who deserve to be in this program, so it’s very important that we all chip in and do our part to ensure that tomorrow’s jazz looks just as bright as it does today.”                              
~ Brianna Williams
Parent of Rialto Jazz for Kids alumnus, currently attending college on a music scholarship    

Now entering its 14th year, Rialto Jazz for Kids has empowered thousands of metro Atlanta students who, through this unique program, have developed a personal relationship with jazz. This innovative and progressive curriculum goes far beyond merely teaching the next generation of students America’s greatest indigenous art form—jazz music. Public middle school students learn not only how to play jazz, they also study the history, culture, and geography of the music, thus acquiring a much deeper appreciation of the art in its many iterations, and in turn, discover their own art of individual expression.

As funding for The Arts continues to decline in our public schools, the Rialto is filling this gap by raising the necessary capital to enable Rialto Jazz for Kids to be available, free of charge, to as many schools and students as possible. Dr. Gordon Vernick, Professor of Music, Director of Jazz Studies at Georgia State University, and founder of Rialto Jazz for Kids, utilizes a cohort of professional musicians and fellow jazz instructors who visit participating Title I middle schools each month, working closely with selected students who are interested in learning jazz. 
 

Top student musicians from these schools are eligible to become Rialto Jazz for Kids All-Stars, with the opportunity to take their music to the next level, and to gain valuable performance experience playing at jazz festivals, senior centers, and other venues across Atlanta. Every Saturday morning, instead of soccer games, spend-the-nights, and other typically teen activities, students from schools throughout Atlanta eagerly come to the Rialto Center to engage in two hours of high-level training and practice sessions with these exceptional instructors and professional musicians.
 

As students aged-out of Rialto Jazz for Kids upon matriculation from middle school, Dr. Vernick also saw a void in the Atlanta high school band programs that needed filling, and thus created the Rialto Youth Jazz Orchestra. Thanks to this program, talented young musicians have been able to continue their jazz training through high school, acquiring not only comprehensive instruction, but also opportunities to participate in ensembles or big bands, gaining significantly more music and performance experience. While this program is tuition-based, the majority of participants receive scholarships, and no deserving student is turned away due to inability to pay. Because of this extraordinary opportunity, approximately 60% of the Rialto Youth Jazz Orchestra students have received college scholarships for prestigious music schools and/or have chosen a career in the arts.
 

With your generous support, we will be able to provide more scholarships for Rialto Youth Jazz Orchestra students, and continue offering Rialto Jazz for Kids and Rialto Jazz for Kids All-Stars free of charge. The City of Atlanta will generously match your donation dollar for dollar, and all contributions will go directly toward funding the following needs:
  ·        
$6,400:  Enables us to add two more professional instructors for Rialto Jazz for Kids
·        
$3,000:  Provides scholarship support for Rialto Youth Jazz Orchestra students
·        
$ 600:  Helps fund Rialto Jazz for Kids Homework Flash Drives, which markedly improve each student’s ability to practice more effectively outside of the classroom.

THANK YOU
to all of our donors and the City of Atlanta for supporting Rialto Jazz for Kids programs. Our remarkable music educators are absolutely committed to keeping jazz alive and passing its legacy on to the next generation, ensuring that tomorrow’s jazz looks just as bright as it does today!
 


Matching Sponsors

Our generous sponsors will contribute $1 for every $1 donated to this project up to $10,000 ! (pending matching fund availability)

  • Mayor s office of cultral affairs logo
$17,641.26 of $20,000 goal ⋅ 2 days to go
  • Donate $20 or more

    Donate $50 or more:
    The knowledge that you are ensuring that tomorrow’s jazz looks just as bright as is does today, along with a thank you letter from Leslie Gordon, Director, Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University.

    Donate $100 or more:
    The knowledge that you are ensuring that tomorrow’s jazz looks just as bright as is does today, along with acknowledgement of your donation in the Rialto’s Encore Program Book for one year!

    Donate $250 or more:
    All of the above and a shout-out on social media!

    Donate $500 or more:
    All of the above plus a love note from the Rialto staff!

    Donate $500 or more:
    All of the above plus a personal note from a Rialto Jazz for Kids or a Rialto Youth Jazz Orchestra participant!

    Donate $1,000 or more:
    All of the above plus an invitation to be a special guest at a Rialto Jazz for Kids rehearsal or performance, and to meet the students and Dr. Vernick!

    THANK YOU FOR BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS TO KEEP JAZZ ALIVE!
    Amount over $10 is tax-deductible
$2,358.74 to go. Every dollar helps.
$17,641.26 of $20,000 goal ⋅ 2 days to go
  • $533.75
    Kate Balzer
    about 7 hours ago
  • $523.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 7 hours ago
  • $1,000
    Anonymous
    about 7 hours ago
  • $990
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 7 hours ago
  • $106.75
    Julie Rhoad
    about 14 hours ago
  • $106.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 14 hours ago
  • $106.75
    in honor of Wimpy Vernick
    about 16 hours ago
  • $96.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 16 hours ago
  • $53.38
    Ann Laura Parks
    about 19 hours ago
  • $53.38
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 19 hours ago
  • $106.75
    in honor of Leslie Gordon
    about 19 hours ago
  • $106.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 19 hours ago
  • $266.88
    in honor of James D Edwards
    1 day ago
  • $256.88
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    1 day ago
  • $106.75
    in honor of Dr Gordon Vernick
    4 days ago
  • $106.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    4 days ago
  • $1,067.50
    Anonymous
    6 days ago
  • $1,057.50
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    6 days ago
  • $21.35
    in honor of Reid Barry
    7 days ago
  • $21.35
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    7 days ago
  • $50
    in honor of Elaine Davis
    7 days ago
  • $40
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    7 days ago
  • $53.38
    Sherri Lamar
    8 days ago
  • $43.38
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    8 days ago
  • $53.38
    Terri Coffsky
    8 days ago
  • $53.38
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    8 days ago
  • $26.69
    in honor of John A Steward
    8 days ago
  • $16.69
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    8 days ago
  • $50
    Shelly Michael
    8 days ago
  • $50
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    8 days ago
  • $106.75
    Drs Baumrind Baumrind and Jain Family Dentistry
    8 days ago
  • $96.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    8 days ago
  • $21.35
    Paola Jacobs
    9 days ago
  • $11.35
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    9 days ago
  • $53.38
    Kevin & Crystal Oliver
    9 days ago
  • $43.38
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    9 days ago
  • $21.35
    Michael Rohling
    14 days ago
  • $21.35
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    14 days ago
  • $100
    Berit Turner
    23 days ago
  • $100
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    23 days ago
  • $106.75
    Doug Shipman
    27 days ago
  • $96.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    27 days ago
  • $1,000
    in honor of Jo Ann Haden-Miller
    27 days ago
  • $1,000
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    27 days ago
  • $240.19
    in honor of Jason R. Bowser
    28 days ago
  • $240.19
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    28 days ago
  • $53.38
    Anonymous
    28 days ago
  • $53.38
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    28 days ago
  • $26.69
    in honor of Leslie
    28 days ago
  • $16.69
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    28 days ago
  • $106.75
    Eugenia and David Sockel
    28 days ago
  • $96.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    28 days ago
  • $53.38
    Anonymous
    28 days ago
  • $53.38
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    28 days ago
  • $21.35
    Anonymous
    about 1 month ago
  • $11.35
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 1 month ago
  • $100
    Celia Till
    about 1 month ago
  • $90
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 1 month ago
  • $25
    Anonymous
    about 1 month ago
  • $15
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 1 month ago
  • $500
    Uriel Kitron and Amy Aidman Uriel Kitron and Amy Aidman
    about 1 month ago
  • $500
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 1 month ago
  • $500
    Randy & Marc Hyman & Shapiro
    about 1 month ago
  • $490
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 1 month ago
  • $1,000
    Laura Voisinet
    about 1 month ago
  • $990
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 1 month ago
  • $1,067.50
    in honor of Walter Coffey
    about 1 month ago
  • $1,067.50
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 1 month ago
  • $106.75
    Leslie Gordon
    about 1 month ago
  • $96.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 1 month ago
  • $106.75
    Suzy Blough
    about 1 month ago
  • $106.75
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY19
    about 1 month ago
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