Charleston Jazz today continued its community service program called "Jazz in the Joint" at the Perry Correctional Institution in Pelzer, SC. This ongoing project brings live jazz music to the inmates of correctional institutions throughout South Carolina. The program was launched in 2016 with a visit to the Lieber Correctional Institute in Ridgeville.
The idea for "Jazz in the Joint" was conceived by Charleston Jazz board member and vice president Steve Simon as a result of his work on the board of directors of the Turning Leaf Project, which works with criminals being released from South Carolina jails and prisons.
“My hope is that through the transformative power of music and outreach programs like this, inmates of prisons and jails throughout the country will have a few hours to forget where they are and to realize that people they’ve never met care about them” Simon said.
The Charleston musicians that performed at the Perry Correctional Institution are:
- Oscar Rivers, Jr., keys
- LeRoy Smalls, Jr., saxophone
- Markie Morant, drums
- Roman Pekar, bass
- Steve Simon, band leader and clarinet
- Chanel Ravenell, vocals
“We encourage other jazz organizations throughout the United States to embrace the concept of 'Jazz in the Joint' to foster positive change through music,” said Mary Beth Natarajan, Executive Director at Charleston Jazz.
About Charleston Jazz:
Charleston Jazz is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote musical awareness and education including the recognition and preservation of the history of jazz in the Lowcountry through performances, special events, and educational outreach. Established in 2008 as Jazz Artists of Charleston, the organization has earned a reputation for presenting, producing, and advocating for all things jazz and the artists who bring this music to life in dynamic ways. The organization manages the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, the Charleston Jazz Festival, and the Charleston Jazz Academy.