Silence Is Violence

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STRIKE AGAINST CRIME: Tuesday

Date: Wed, Jan. 26, 2011

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Shortly after the founding of SilenceIsViolence in 2007, we held our first Music Clinic for young New Orleanians. Having launched an anti-violence campaign in memory of a drummer and a filmmaker, we felt a responsibility to work for peace through the arts ourselves. Since then, we have invited young people ages 5 to 15 to learn about music history, the business of music, and especially the practice of music from professional New Orleans musicians.

The evening clinics are led by trumpet virtuoso Shamarr Allen, who grew up playing music with Dinerral Shavers. Shamarr and his team of coaches work closely with the students, in small groups and individually. A hot dinner is served, and more informal instruction and jam sessions close each evening. Between sessions, participants have the opportunity to take private lessons with the music coaches.

Students can come every week, or just once in a while. They can choose a steady instrument, or try out different instruments until they find the one that they love. SilenceIsViolence has a collection of brass, percussion, and woodwind instruments, as well as guitars, for students to borrow. The emphasis is on core skills and music literacy, with a repertory that favors jazz and other New Orleans idioms.

The underlying premise of our Music Clinics is that reaching young people through creative expression and cultural mentorship can have concrete impact on everyone’s long-term public safety.

This evening, we will open our 2011 Music Clinics series, as part of a SilenceIsViolence Open House and Community Meeting. The meeting will serve as a forum for new and evolving ideas about community-based public safety. We also will have signage and stickers to use throughout the week, and we will sign up volunteers to assist with the “Crime Happened Here” public awareness campaign. These events will be held at Sound Cafe (2700 Chartres Street), the regular location for our Music Clinics.

Music Clinics with Shamarr Allen are open to the public each Tuesday at 5:30pm. If you would like to learn more, or if you know a prospective participant, please stop by to experience this exciting program, tonight and throughout the spring. Countering the culture of violence—reaching toward peace—through cultural and creative expression is at the very root of the SilenceIsViolence philosophy.

MUSIC CLINICS/COMMUNITY MEETING

Sound Cafe: 2700 Chartres Street

(504) 261-9037

www.silenceisviolence.org