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Music is a way for kids to connect with others and develop discipline in all areas of life. I want to perform for and inspire kids.
Music is a way for kids to connect with others and develop discipline in all areas of life. I want to perform for and inspire kids.
30 backers pledged $10,575 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$10,575

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Inspire youth through performance.

Inspiration
With this project I would like to tour and perform with a quartet at elementary schools in the U.S., starting on the East Coast and expanding throughout the country in the future.  Through performances we will teach, inspire, and introduce kids to the foundation of U.S. music and the musicians who created and developed it.  The goal is to inspire kids to look beyond pop culture and into the not-so-distant past of American music and its contribution to the world.

At its best, music is and will always be a way for kids to connect with others and develop discipline in all areas of life.  It can help kids develop a strong work ethic, stay organized and focused, and build self esteem throughout their lives, not to mention keep kids out of trouble.  Even a basic understanding of jazz and its history can serve to broaden children's characters, deepen their connection with peers, and improve academic achievements.

U.S. Music History

Jazz is a music/art form with both African and European roots, but this marriage would not have been possible without the United States as its meeting place, making jazz a uniquely American art form.  Jazz and Blues are among America's greatest cultural and artistic achievements and form the undeniable roots of popular music world-wide.  

The budget for music education and performance is dwindling yearly in U.S. school systems, and, unfortunately, jazz awareness has become a tragic casualty.  Consider the contribution Duke Ellington has made to the world of music.  Most kids have never even heard of him, let alone his music.  Yet, due to the nature of the history of jazz, it is difficult to pass on its great legacy through a text book.  Jazz music is a language that has to be passed down aurally .  Even with the advent of technology that can put concerts and clinics at your fingertips, there is no substitute for experiencing music live and in person.  There is no better way to inspire students than to perform in front of them. 

Why Jazz?
  • Jazz is the foundation of popular music of today, yet most are unaware of its heritage and legacy. 
  • Jazz is the music of improvisation and instrumental mastery.  
  • Jazz has a rich and diverse history which children can be proud of.
  • Jazz musicians are often interesting, charismatic characters that can relate to kids and vice versa. 

Why Elementary schools?

  • In my experience, having performed in front of many different audience age groups, children at the elementary school level are open to hearing different forms of music and willing and able to digest it without having formed rigid parameters of music in their minds.
  • Elementary school kids still have a constant state of wonder and are not yet congested with the opinions of others.
  • This program will help to provide a foundation for further musical exploration, and it is always advisable to start young.

We will focus our efforts on schools and performance spaces that benefit kids in areas where there is no music in the educational system.  

How will we use the money?

Most of the money will be going towards the actual expenses of putting the band (4 musicians and 1 roadie) on the road.  This includes travel (rental van), lodging and food expenses as well as rental equipment.   Most, if not all, of the gigs will be school time assembles in school auditoriums or gymnasiums.  By having all of the expenses covered the performances will be able to be provided free of charge for the schools.  I've done many of these types of tours, and with the ability to provide for most of our necessities with simple production, the performance will be very powerful and memorable.  

 Where and when will we be available to perform?

Ideally (depending on the amount of money we raise) we would travel mostly within a 300 mile radius of NYC. This will help keep the travel expenses down. However if we raise enough money we will be able to increase the distance we travel and hit more schools.

References to check out:

The Benefits of Music Education

How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins

Risks and challenges

This project will be the first time I have put together a tour focused on children and performance venues that can accommodate them. As a veteran touring and performing artist I think our biggest challenge will be scheduling and collaborating with school venues. Although this won't be easy, I am confident that we will work through such issues.

As popular culture becomes increasingly void of art, music, and the pursuit of greatness, I would like the opportunity to personally deliver an alternative to this vacuum through music. In an age where children are at risk of becoming detached from true human connection due to the invasive presence of technology in even basic social communication and interaction, this program is designed to both entertain and inspire kids to develop a greater sense of their human potential through live human communication and interaction- the essence of jazz..

Thank you in advance for your support of this project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Your name will be among our list of contributors plus a copy of the Vinny Valentino, "Center Place" CD as a digital download.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Your name will be among our list of contributors plus free admission to the concert of your choice.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Thanks to PlayAlongJazz. Streaming access to 30 PAJ tracks minus your instrument. Check out a sample of these tracks here: http://www.playalongjazz.com/30-tracks/

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Tour t-shirt and hand written thank you card plus your name will be among our list of contributors. A copy of the Vinny Valentino "Center Place" CD as a digital download.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your own personal interview with Vinny and the band. Tour t-shirt and hand written thank you card plus your name will be among our list of contributors. A copy of the Vinny Valentino "Center Place" CD as a digital download.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Signed and dedicated 11/17 framed photo of Vinny and the band along on the tour. A Skype or Google Hangout lessons/clinic/just talk with Vinny. Tour t-shirt and hand written thank you card plus your name will be among our list of contributors. A copy of the Vinny Valentino "Center Place" CD as a digital download.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    4 Vip tickets and guest list accommodations for 5 years of concerts plus a signed copy of tour posters and 3 video Skype or Google Hangout session (clinics, lessons or just talk).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Dinner before and meet and greet Vinny and the band while on tour.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Vinny will compose and record a song just for you tailored to your taste and style. Tour t-shirt and hand written thank you card plus your name will be among our list of contributors. A copy of the Vinny Valentino "Center Place" CD as a digital download.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,250 or more About $3,250

    PRIVATE CONCERT by Vinny and the band for you and your closest friends (travel and accommodations not included).

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    DINNER (cooked by Vinny) and PRIVATE CONCERT for you and your closest friends. (travel and accommodations not included). Plus 10 tour t-shirts with your name as Tour Sponsor on the t-shirt. A copy of the Vinny Valentino, "Center Place" CD as a digital download.

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Funding period

- (33 days)