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This award from Music Drives Us will underwrite the production and performance of Blues SchoolHouse which traces the history of the blues from its roots in African musical traditions through its emergence as an American musical form to nearly 5,000 5th to 12th grade students each year. A check presentation of the award is scheduled to take place on Wednesday April 25 at the House of Blues Boston.
The live music program will begin at 10:00 a.m. in front of a large student audience and will culminate at 11:30 a.m. with the formal check presentation. Attendees at the presentation will include Ernie Boch Jr, Founder of Music Drives Us, Don Law, President of Live Nation New England, Nurit Siegel Smith, Executive Director of Music Forward Foundation and special guest Ken Casey of Dropkick Murphys.
Blues SchoolHouse is a live musical, interactive presentation that takes Boston youth from Africa in the 1500s to modern-day America. Participants see how people use music to tell their stories, preserve their memories, provide comfort and create a sense of community and how African and African American music and cultural traditions have influenced the music enjoyed today. The program weaves major historical events narrated across an American history timeline and demonstrates how music can reflect social conditions and drive social change.
“I am extremely proud to ensure Blues SchoolHouse continues to reach students in the City of Boston. It is so important that we offer affordable musical education programs and experiences for our kids. With this grant from Music Drives Us, thousands of students each year will learn about the blues and continue to be inspired, entertained, and engaged” said Ernie Boch Jr. “Music Drives Us is supporting the past and the future of music with this important program.”
“We are thrilled to receive this generous award from Music Drives Us. Blues SchoolHouse is Music Forward’s legacy program and we are grateful to continue it in the city where the program launched two decades ago,” said Nurit Siegel Smith, Executive Director of Music Forward. “Blues music shines a light on the dark corners of American life and gives a voice to all its people. We hope that the story of the blues will inspire each participant to develop and express their creativity and to use their voice to change the world around them for the better.”
Students from throughout the Greater Boston region attend free performances at the House of Blues Boston during the school year. The opportunity to experience the program in the House of Blues Music Hall is also very special: “Blues SchoolHouse is often the first time many of these students have ever experienced a live concert event. We love opening our doors for this program,” remarked Jeff Goldenberg, General Manager of House of Blues Boston.