Press - Articles

Friday April 11, 2014

Bringing Jazz To Toronto's Priority Neighbourhoods

We Are One Jazz Project (WAOJP) is a grassroots organization dedicated to strengthening community bonds. This is achieved by making a difference in the lives of elementary school children through the study and singing of jazz. We strive to inspire young Canadians by harnessing the beauty and power of jazz as a force for social change. Our mission is to deliver this unique program to a different "priority" area of Toronto each year. Read more

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jazz project gives inner-city kids a chance

On a chilly Thursday morning in January, close to 300 grade school students packed the warm cafetorium at Westview Centennial Secondary School in Toronto and cheered as a few dozen of their peers took the stage. Read more

January 20, 2010

3rd Annual "We Are One Jazz Project" in Concert

Founder and Director Howard Rees, proudly presents a creative and timely solution to the issue of disappearing arts programs in schools. After four months of weekly rehearsals in Scarborough Junior Public Schools, they invite you to witness how the power & beauty of Jazz ignites change in young lives. Read more

January 20, 2010

Jazzing Up the Lives of Toronto Kids

IT WAS BY chance that Howard Rees found the inspiration for a program that would bring the joy of jazz to Toronto youth. While cleaning one day, the Davisville Village resident uncovered pages composed years before by his mentor, jazz pianist Barry Harris. As he began to rehearse the melodies, the music evoked warm memories of the annual concerts he had performed while studying under the legendary musician. Read more

28 November, 2009

Instruments of Change

Three hundred rain-soaked public schoolchildren are piling into Walmer Road Baptist Church in the Annex neighbourhood at 9:30 a.m. The kids, along with a phalanx of facilitators and music teachers from Orde St. Public School, Ryerson Community School and Earl Beatty Jr. and Sr. P.S., are part of a four-month choral project developed by local jazz masters Howard Rees and Brian Katz.

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22 January, 2009

Transformative Jazz

Children can have questionable taste in music so it's always nice to hear they're enjoying a music form like jazz. It's even better news when they're also gaining a confidence-boosting experience – something far too rare in Toronto's low-income neighbourhoods.

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22 January, 2009

Have the Kids Taken Over?

Two hundred children standing, boys and girls, three deep across the wide stage, made you stir and sit back. Behind them on the stage sat a large senior string section from Earl Haig Secondary School, the Big Fish Jazz Orchestra from Earl Haig, and further up stage, the Earl Haig Jazz Singers, and buried in there was a mature jazz trio, too. Read more

17 January, 2009

Jazz Program Helps Students Find Confidence

Shermarke Mohamed is no longer afraid to answer questions in class thanks to a jazz program that has the once shy elementary school student singing in front of his peers. The novice 9-year-old singer, along with more than 200 students from seven North Etobicoke public schools transformed West Humber Collegiate’s quiet hallways into a symphony of melodies and harmonies on Thursday.

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20 January, 2009

Concert teams local youth jazz legend

The Toronto District School Board has teamed up with Howard Rees’ Jazz Workshops to bring together young voices from northwest Toronto, a renowned jazz great and jazz musicians to perform a concert. One of the most celebrated voices in Jazz today, Dr. Barry Harris, along with special guest Charles McPherson, accompanied by the Earl Haig's Big Fish Jazz Orchestra and string ensemble... Read more

17 December, 2008

Students Sing We Are One

Students from several TDSB schools in Northwest Toronto perform in We Are One, a concert featuring jazz legend Barry Harris. It’s been said many times in so many eloquent ways: Music brings people together. John Denver once mused that “No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.” Read more

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