If you know of a teen, ages 13 - 19, who plays any instrument, please tell them about this opportunity.

The Jazz Arts Project is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Count Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy and, as the new year gets underway, classes are about to begin for intermediate and advanced teen musicians to join the Jazz Academy.

This is NOT a music school. It's a non-profit group whose goal is to keep jazz music alive and appreciated by the next generation. It is a chance for your teen to be in a real jazz band that performs at places like the Count Basie Theatre, Two River Theatre, Jazz in the Park in Red Bank, and McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.

It's a chance for teen musicians to meet and be mentored by professional and famous jazz musicians and groups like the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra, to meet other teen musicians who also love to play jazz music, and to work with world-renowned jazz conductor Joe Muccioli.

If your teen is in a school band, orchestra, or jazz band, this jazz academy is a great addition to your young musician's resume that will enhance their musicianship overall. The classes are held on Sunday in the late-afternoon in Red Bank, so rarely does this opportunity clash with school band rehearsals and events.

In fact, please do tell your school's band director about this excellent supplemental program because it will make any student musicians better prepared for their own school band with things they will learn at the Jazz Arts Project's Jazz Academy, including how to solo, which is sometimes the most difficult thing for a musician to do.

And your teen does not have to already be familiar with or play jazz music. Some of those who have had success in this group have come from backgrounds in marching band, classical music, and rock. Learning jazz has enhanced their overall music education.

My son's life has changed for the better since joining this amazing program. The opportunities have been astounding as he has gotten to play at venues that adult musicians aspire to check off their own bucket list! And the grammy-nominated artists he has met and gotten advice and pointers from blows my mind.

Many of the wonderful teens in this program have even played at some of our radio events and been on the air during our morning show!

Classes begin this Sunday, Jan. 21st, and are currently held at the Monmouth Conservatory of Music on White Street in Red Bank. You can register by CLICKING HERE.

For more info from the mom of a kid who has benefited from this program, you can email me at liz.jeressi@townsquaremedia.com or you can call Susan Brennan at 732-224-8778, ext. 125 and to find out about scholarship opportunities.