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April Newsletter


String Stories – April 2024

April not only brings in poetry and “spring snow showers” that lead to “May flowers”, but it also celebrates Duke Ellington’s birthday (April 29), one of America’s most important musicians and composers, along with International Jazz Day (April 30). The String Department embraces these commemorations and more! Kamoinge Strings performs a set of jazz standards that include Moanin’, My Funny Valentine, and Misty. To honor Duke Ellington, the ensemble includes C-Jam Blues and In a Sentimental Mood in its repertoire. 

As we approach the end of the session and school year, our students are gearing up for their final recitals. On Saturday, April 27, students of Ernest Bisong (violin/viola),Patty Ryan (cello), and Ted Olsen (bass) are scheduled to perform. Our most accomplished string students will showcase their talents during the annual Walker|West Honors Recitals in May.


Minnesota United – Walker West

This Saturday, Minnesota United Field Club is hosting Black Excellence Night. Our students from Kamoinge Strings and the Advanced Youth Jazz Ensemble, along with our alumna Chelsea Phillip, will be performing during the Minnesota United vs. Houston Dynamo game. The performances will include pre-game music in both the Field Club and Stadium Club, renditions of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “The Star Spangled Banner,” as well as a special halftime selection. We are ready and excited to begin this fantastic celebration. This is a game you won’t want to miss!

When: April 13th vs Houston Dynamo
Where: Allianz Field, St. Paul
Ticketshttps://www.mnufc.com/


A Conversation w/ Damon Locks 

In collaboration with the Walker Art Center, Walker|West is set to conduct a dialogue featuring Damon Locks, a renowned visual artist, educator, activist, and musician/vocalist based in Chicago.

Date & Time: Friday, April 19 |  6 – 7pm 

Location: Walker West Performance Hall, 760 Selby Ave.

Seating is limited.  Please RSVP by Wednesday, April 17.


Homies In Harmony

Register now for Homies in Harmony

For children ages 0 – 6 and their caregivers.

Auntie Jayanthi introduces musical concepts and early sound exploration drawing from African American cultural experience, vital artists, and familiar folk music. Early music learners will explore various instruments, sing, and play in a nurturing environment.

For questions contact Student Services info@walkerwest.org 

When: Fridays at 10 AM | April 19 – May 17
or
When: Saturdays at 10 AM or 11 AM | April 20 – May 18


RONDO COMMUNITY MUSIC SERIES

Rondo Community Music Series Panel Discussion

Topic: The connection between Spoken word and music, rap and hip hop featuring Marie Chante’

Save Your Spot

JOIN US FOR DISCUSSIONS on Music, Culture, Community and Education. Conversations informed and influenced by the historic Rondo Community.

When: Wednesday, April 17th, 7pm

April 20th RCMS Concert featuring Marie Chanté

Rondo Community Music Series

Save Your Spot

Marie Chanté has written over 1000 poems, monologues and short stories that are being compiled into long awaited published works. Her dream job is combining music and poetry, although she enjoys teaching as well. Her collaboration and artist work resume includes: #MPLStheBAND and Houston White for The Black Excellence & The King Kunta Project, PipJazz Foundation, The Mn Spoken Word Association, Poets of The City, The Poetic Voyage, and a brief but loving run as the host for Majestic Flows Open Mic at Favor Cafe. She worked as a Teaching Artist at HECUA, in the Inequalities in America department for several years before the college closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is currently Outreach & Student Services Director at Walker|West Music Academy, where she has had a working relationship, in different capacities, since 2008.

RSVP today to reserve your spot virtually on Crowdcast or Attend In-Person by registering on EventBrite!


SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES

Women in Jazz Retreat

Join Walker West for our first ever Women in Jazz Retreat, with Twin Cities Jazz Festival performers, Claudia Medina and Ivanna Cuesta! This is a week-long comprehensive experience for women, non-binary and trans musicians to hone their performing skills, connect with other like-minded players and receive mentoring and coaching from leading women jazz faculty. Culminating in a live performance at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival! Presented as a part of Walker West’s Women in Jazz Initiative. 

When: Monday-Friday, June 17-21 (off June 19), 9:30am-4pm 
Where: Walker West Music Academy
Who: Women, non-binary and trans jazz instrumentalists and vocalists (intermediate to advanced) ages 14-27.

“Grow Through Music” Summer Camp

Our “Grow Through Music” camp offers a fun introduction to a variety of instruments for beginning students, and a way to reconnect with friends and instructors for returning students. Campers will learn in a supportive small group environment with a chance to perform during our end of camp presentation.

When: July 8 – July 26, 2024 | Monday – Friday | 8am – 12pm daily
Who: Grades K-6

Summer Music Production College Course at Hamline 

Supercharge your artistic voice this summer with hands-on Music Production instruction in this 2-week intensive college course at Hamline University! Full scholarships are available to all students.

When: July 15 – July 26, 2024 | Monday – Friday
Who: Grades 10+

Summer Jazz Intensive

The Summer Jazz Intensive program is a one week comprehensive experience for beginner to advanced youth musicians to hone their performing skills, take applied classes and interact with world-class jazz faculty at Walker|West.

When: July 29 – Aug 2, 2024 | Monday – Friday | 10am – 4pm daily
Who: Grades 6-12

Summer Jazz Violin Workshop

5-Day Intensive (For intermediate violin students)

This 5-day workshop is for violin (only) students looking to branch out from traditional classical violin or who desire to take their improvisation to the next level.

When: August 5 – 9, 2024 | Monday – Friday | 9am – 12pm daily
Who: Grades 5-12

Categories
Blog Newsletter

Women in Jazz Workshop

An Introduction to Jazz + Jam Session

Led by Joan Griffith

When: Saturday, March 23, 2024 1-5pm

Where: Walker West Music Academy – 760 Selby Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104

Presented by Walker West & She Rock She Rock Sponsored by Jazz88.

Join Walker West’s Women in Jazz initiative for an interactive introduction to jazz workshop, led by jazz bassist, guitarist and educator Joan Griffith! Learn about this great American artform from leading local women jazz musicians, and play together, featuring Mary Louise Knutson (piano), Beth Varela (drums), Sophia Kaufmann (bass) and Tasha Baron (trombone, flute, keys).

Women, non-binary and trans players of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate in the workshop, and join in a Sisterhood jam session to follow. Bring your instrument, and a chart for your favorite standards. Realbooks provided. No prior jazz experience required.

All welcome to attend. RSVP here.

With questions, contact Katia Cardenas, Walker West Without Walls Program Director at katia@walkerwest.org

Save the date for:

She Rock All Ages Open Jam – April 27 2-5pm at Walker West

WIJ Workshop & Jam Session #2 – Saturday, May 18 1-5pm

Women in Jazz Retreat with Claudia Medina, June 17-21 9-4pm Learn more and sign up here

Categories
Blog Newsletter

March Newsletter

WALKER|WEST’S WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT

RCMS Concert Featuring 
Give Get Sistet
March 16th @7 pm

Save Your Spot

The Give Get Sistet is an expandable, improvisational chorus of Black women and non-binary artists based in the Twin Cities with ties around the world. Using a cappella singing and vocal improvisation, the Give Get Sistet entertains, educates and empowers audiences and communities from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. These artists listen deeply and sing with great generosity and daring, the music they make is unlike any other ensemble you’ve heard.
This is the second appearance for the Give Get Sistet in our series.

RSVP today to reserve your spot virtually on Crowdcast or Attend In-Person by registering on EventBrite!


Rondo Community Music Series Panel Discussion

Topic: Celebrating the Influence of Black Women in Jazz: A Tribute to Trailblazers Yolande Bruce and Debbie Duncan featuring Jayanthi Rajasa and Sarah Greer

Save Your Spot

JOIN US FOR DISCUSSIONS on Music, Culture, Community and Education. Conversations informed and influenced by the historic Rondo Community.

Wednesday, March 13 at 7:00 pm


Women in Jazz Activities: Save the Date!

Calling students women, non-binary and trans music students to sign up for Walker|West’s Intro to Jazz Workshops happening this spring, and a first ever Women in Jazz Retreat this June, led by Twin Cities Jazz Festival visiting artist, Claudia Medina! These activities are unique opportunities for students to explore improvisation, hone their performing skills, connect with other like-minded musicians from across the Twin Cities, and receive mentoring and coaching from leading local and national women jazz artists. These activities are a part of Walker|West’s Women in Jazz Initiative. Sponsored by Jazz88/KBEM.

Important Dates:

Intro to Jazz Workshops & Jam Session

When: Saturday, March 23 & Saturday, May 18 @ 1pm

Who: Women, Non-binary and Trans students of all ages. All welcome in the audience.

Women in Jazz Retreat

When: Monday, June 17 – Friday, June 21 (Off 6/19) 9:30am-4pm

Who: High School & College-age Women, Non-binary and Trans instrumentalists and vocalists.

She Rock All Ages Open Jam

When: Saturday, April 27 1-4pm at Walker West

Who: Women, Non-binary and Trans instrumentalists and vocalists of all ages. All welcome in the audience


STRING STORIES

Experience the Power of Music and Advocacy with Kamoinge Strings!

In March the String Department celebrates two significant events: National Women’s History Month and Kamoinge Strings, STRINGOCRACY Concert.

Join us for a unique musical event, “Stringocracy,”presented by Kamoinge Strings on Saturday, March 9th at 7pm in Prospect Park.

This 90-minute concert combines social activism with music, ranging from Vivaldi to Hip Hop. The group, who recently wowed us at their Minnesota Timberwolves halftime show, uses their talent to advocate for change.

While the event is free, we encourage donations, which will fund scholarships for string students. This is a chance to support aspiring musicians and contribute to our community. So, whether you’re a music lover or a social advocate, don’t miss “Stringocracy.” Your presence will have a direct impact on the future of music and advocacy.

Date: Saturday, March 9, 2024
Time: 7pm
Location: Prospect Park United Methodist Church
Admission: Free (Freewill offerings encouraged)

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the magic of music and make a difference in the lives of young musicians. We look forward to seeing you there!

Because there are still far too few BIPOC women in Classical and Jazz music we celebrate the extraordinary talent of just a few including: Diane Monroe, Regina Carter, Tai Murray, and Tomeika Reid. Click the link below to learn more about these incredible artists! 

By celebrating their (her)stories and musical genius, we encourage our students to see themselves and their possibilities as string students and musicians.

Happy National Women’s History Month from the Walker West String Department!


PROGRAM UPDATES & OPPORTUNITIES

Masterclass with guest artist JD Allen

Join us for a free masterclass with Detroit-born, New York-based jazz saxophonist, JD Allen. Whether you’re an aspiring musician or simply curious about the intricacies of jazz, this is an event you won’t want to miss. Activities include artist demonstration, student coaching and Q&A with the audience. Feel free to bring your instrument.

Seating is limited. Please rsvp by March 14.

Date & Time: Saturday, Mar 16, 2024 10:30AM – 12:30PM

Location: High School of Recording Arts 1166 University Ave W, St Paul, MN


Register for Spring Semester

Walker|West offers lessons in Voice, Piano, Organ, Bass, Percussion, Woodwind, Brass, Guitar, Violin, Viola and Cello for students of all ages.
Registration now open until June 8th!


New Building and Construction Update

Thanks to the generous gifts of our capital campaign supporters, Walker West officially closed on our new building at 650 Marshall Ave. Construction is scheduled to begin soon and finish in November 2024.

Aligning with our mission, we’ve prioritized hiring contractors that are certified minority-owned and woman-owned business enterprises. They include Noor Companies, Greiner Construction, Assembly MN, and Guaranty Title. We are in the process of awarding subcontracts and will meet or exceed 25% of all subcontracts being awarded to Certified Businesses (e.g. minority-owned, woman-owned, and other small business enterprises).

We are so excited to take this step toward bringing our new vision to fruition: to be a cultural destination and community resource, where exceptional music education and enrichment is affordable, accessible, and rooted in the African American experience.

Our next steps include additional fundraising to expand our programs and capacity to bring our vision to life in our new building. To learn more about our capital campaign or make a gift, contact Amelia Colwell at amelia@walkerwest.org or 319-415-5078.


RONDO COMMUNITY MUSIC SERIES

RCMS Concert featuring
Jack Barrett Trio
April 6th

Save Your Spot

A wide variety of music can be heard in Jack Barrett’s compositions. Throughout his life, he has explored avenues of classical, progressive rock, metal and jazz. All of which have left their permanent mark on his sound. Raised in the Twin Cities, Barrett studied in the northern wilderness of St. John’s University where he earned a degree in piano performance. There, he was drawn to the sounds of Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett among others as he delved further into the sound and practice of jazz. Since then, his path has brought him to the sounds of modern players like Brad Mehldau and Tigran Hamasyan. Intense rhythms and rich harmonies dominate Barrett’s compositions, marked by concise and dynamic solos. With each new work he builds around a single concept, whether it is a rhythmic or harmonic motif or simply a feeling. Expanding from this, he crafts the song into a sprawling extrapolation, adding and transforming until the original idea is woven into every part of the music.

RSVP today to reserve your spot virtually on Crowdcast or Attend In-Person by registering on EventBrite!


SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES

“Grow Through Music” Summer Camp

Our “Grow Through Music” camp offers a fun introduction to a variety of instruments for beginning students, and a way to reconnect with friends and instructors for returning students. Campers will learn in a supportive small group environment with a chance to perform during our end of camp presentation.

When: July 8 – July 26, 2024 | Monday – Friday | 8am – 12pm daily
Who: Grades K-6


Summer Music Production College Course at Hamline 

Supercharge your artistic voice this summer with hands-on Music Production instruction in this 2-week intensive college course at Hamline University! Full scholarships are available to all students.

When: July 15 – July 26, 2024 | Monday – Friday
Who: Grades 10+


Summer Jazz Intensive

The Summer Jazz Intensive program is a one week comprehensive experience for beginner to advanced youth musicians to hone their performing skills, take applied classes and interact with world-class jazz faculty at Walker|West.

When: July 29 – Aug 2, 2024 | Monday – Friday | 10am – 4pm daily
Who: Grades 6-12


Summer Jazz Violin Workshop

5-Day Intensive (For intermediate violin students)

This 5-day workshop is for violin (only) students looking to branch out from traditional classical violin or who desire to take their improvisation to the next level.

When: August 5 – 9, 2024 | Monday – Friday | 9am – 12pm daily
Who: Grades 5-12

Categories
Blog Newsletter

STRING STORIES MARCH 2024

Notes from the Walker West Music Academy String Department

In March the String Department celebrates two significant events: National Women’s History Month and Kamoinge Strings, STRINGOCRACY Concert.

Last year after our final string recital, we scheduled more departmental recitals starting in the 2023-2024 season to accommodate our growing enrollment, and the longer pieces our string students performed as they progressed in their studies. We also decided to establish formal Kamoinge Strings concerts in addition to the recitals. The ensemble, traditionally performing several selections at the end of our department recitals, had outgrown these programs. Fast forward to Saturday, March 9, Kamoinge Strings performs its STRINGOCRACY concert at Prospect Park United Methodist Church (22 SE Orlin Ave, Minneapolis, MN). Their first concert of the season was the Holiday Concert in December at our partner church, the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Saint Paul. Although the ensemble has performed at numerous venues this season, including at the Filmore – Minneapolis for the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL) Gala and most recently, at the Target Center for the Timberwolves’ Black History Night Game in February, Kamoinge Strings performs just two unaffiliated concerts each season.

This month’s concert is part of our year-long project, STRINGOCRACY, funded partly by the Eastman School of Music’s Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research at the University of Rochester (NY). If the term “stringocracy” sounds a bit like “democracy” to you, don’t be deterred by the homophonic similarities. It is deliberate.

This year of presidential primaries and national elections seemed the perfect time to align our music-making and education with those ideas embedded in democracy. From the Greek words demos (people) and kratos (rule), organizations and governments that engage in democratic practices must make space for individual expression. This can be both empowering and messy! As James Baldwin wrote, “Every human being is an unprecedented miracle. One tries to treat them as the miracles they are while trying to protect oneself against the disasters they’ve become.” Okay, this may sound harsh, but when participating in collaborative expression, dialogue shared freely and cooperatively can be challenging if not in agreement with the majority. Yet, it is empowering and dynamic, nevertheless. In music-making and music-sharing, the dialectic of the demos (musician and audience) is translated through the “call & response”, improvisation, piece selection, and interpretation.

STRINGOCRACY will combine these ideas through works from the Baroque period by composers such as Telemann and Vivaldi and jazz standards by Bobby Timmons and Duke Ellington arranged for strings. The concert will also include a work by the Mali composer Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté that the Kronos String Quartet commissioned. Referred to as the “Clapping” the music is inspired by the songs of the girls and women of Diabaté village.

Kamoinge Strings will perform works from across cultures and centuries, putting their stamp on the familiar and not-so-familiar. As a string ensemble comprised on primarily students of color, Kamoinge adds to the dialectic and creative expression demographically by their presence. Through its name, the ensemble calls attention to the act of community (group working together) and representation (inequitable number of Black and Latino students in youth symphonies and professional orchestras)

The concert is part of Prospect Park’s Concert Series and is FREE. However, we ask audiences to give what they can to support student scholarships and the work of the String Department at Waker West. String faculty Earl Ross, Ernest Bisong, Patty Ryan, Jack Barrett, and a guest rhythm section of student musicians round out the performer roster.

Wacheke Njoroge, one of our Kamoinge strings students and Kamoinge members, got a head start on celebrating women in music. On February 11, she performed as a guest musician with the Sisterhood Swing Band in a concert featuring sacred music by the great African American Jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams. The concert was at St. Thomas More Community Catholic Church in Saint Paul. The all- women swing band, founded by Sarah Schmalenberger, is the only band in the Twin Cities. Wacheke, who is a senior at Roseville High School, sat in at the She Rock Open Jam on Saturday, February 24, a bi-monthly event at the academy where women, non-binary and trans musicians of all ages and skill levels “jam out” together. Talk about the alignment of STRINGOCRACY and National Women’s History Month!

Because there are still far too few BIPOC women in Classical and Jazz music, we celebrate the extraordinary talent of just a few here.

Diane Monroe (violinist) – Learn more First in her class at Curtis Institute, Diane, a native Philadelphian, performs in Classical and Jazz idioms

Regina Carter (violinist) – Learn more With roots in Detroit, MI but currently living in New Jersey, Regina is arguably the most renowned Jazz violinist performing today. Regina will be the headliner this year at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in June.

Tai Murray (violinist) – Learn more When she performed with Minnesota Sinfonia 16 years ago in a performance of the Paganini Violin Concerto, several of my students attended this concert. They have never forgotten her presence as a Black woman at the front of a professional orchestra. Tai, who hails Chicago, currently teaches at Yale University’s School of Music and performs internationally.

Tomeika Reid (cellist) – Learn more American composer, educator and cellist, Tomeka is a 2022 MacArtur Grant Award (colloquially known as the Genuis Award) recipient. She pushes the boundaries of contemporary, classical, jazz, and avantgarde music. She performs at the Walker Art Center in March.

By celebrating their (her)stories and musical genius, we encourage our students to see themselves and their possibilities as string students and musicians. Happy National Women’s History Month from the Walker West String Department!

Categories
Blog Newsletter

February Newsletter


STRING STORIES


During National Black History Month, we celebrate the contributions of African Americans. As the oldest music school founded by African Americans in Minnesota, every month provides us with a reason to celebrate the contributions of Black/African American music.

To begin the month, Kamoinge Strings performed the Black National Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” for the opening of the Timberwolves game at the Target Center Friday February 2. This was a first for both Kamoinge Strings and the Timberwolves as they have never had an instrumental version of the anthem performed. Talk about being pacesetters! Our students and string department continue to make history.

This month, our String students also perform in their respective youth symphonies’ winter concerts. On Sunday, February 11, 2024, MYS will perform at Orchestra Hall, followed by GTCYS performances on February 24 and 25 at the same venue. Visit the respective websites of these organizations to support our students!

Looking ahead, make sure to mark your calendar for Saturday, March 9, 2024. Kamoinge Strings will perform its winter concert, “Stringocracy”, at Prospect Park UMC in Minneapolis. Students will showcase works ranging from the Baroque period to Jazz and Hip Hop.


KEEPIN ON PODCAST PRESENTS:
FATHER AND SON GRIOTS SPEAK IN LOVE

Grammy award winning musical artist, Stokley Wlliams of Mint Condition, and his cultural historian father, Mahmoud El Kati, share their message of pride in family, cultural heritage, and humanity, through music and storytelling, while demonstrating their strong father/son bond.


RONDO COMMUNITY MUSIC SERIES


RCMS Concert Featuring 
The Rondo Band
February 17th 

Save Your Spot

The Rondo Community Music Series, presented by Walker West Music Academy, showcases a current generation of artists inspired by Rondo’s history, cultural expression, and resilience. From September through April 2024, the series will feature a variety of musicians and artists. We invite you to join our hour-long concerts and experience the power of music in shaping communities. Although all shows are free, registration is required.

RSVP today to reserve your spot virtually on Crowdcast or Attend In-Person by registering on EventBrite!

RCMS Concert featuring
Jack Breen Ensemble
March 2nd

Save Your Spot

Jack Breen has strong ties to the Walker|West community. Since 2004, he has been a student at Walker|West, where he began lessons with Felix James. In 2019, Jack joined our Teaching and Performing faculty. Jack graduated from Lawrence University Conservatory in 2018, earning a dual degree in Saxophone performance and Music Education. Additionally, he interned at the New York Jazz Academy in Manhattan.

RSVP today to reserve your spot virtually on Crowdcast or Attend In-Person by registering on EventBrite!


PROGRAM UPDATES


Homies In Harmony

For children ages 0 – 6 and their caregivers.

Auntie Jayanthi introduces musical concepts and early sound exploration drawing from African American cultural experience, vital artists, and familiar folk music. Early music learners will explore various instruments, sing, and play in a nurturing environment.

For questions contact Student Services info@walkerwest.org 
Registration closes March 1st

When: Fridays at 10 AM | February 9 – March 29
or
When: Saturdays at 10 AM or 11 AM | February 10 – March 30

Digital Music Production Program

Learn to make music the modern way through Walker|West’s Digital Music Production Program (DMP). DMP is designed to introduce young students to a whole new world of musical possibilities, through new cutting-edge musical technology. Register today!

When: Tuesday or Thursday | 5 pm – 6pm 
Who: Ages 13 to 21

Register for Spring Semester

Walker|West offers lessons in Voice, Piano, Organ, Bass, Percussion, Woodwind, Brass, Guitar, Violin, Viola and Cello for students of all ages.
Registration now open until June 8th!


SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES


“Grow Through Music” Summer Camp

Our “Grow Through Music” camp offers a fun introduction to a variety of instruments for beginning students, and a way to reconnect with friends and instructors for returning students. Campers will learn in a supportive small group environment with a chance to perform during our end of camp presentation.

When: July 8 – July 26, 2024 | Monday – Friday | 8am – 12pm daily
Who: Grades K-6

Summer Music Production College Course at Hamline

Supercharge your artistic voice this summer with hands-on Music Production instruction in this 2-week intensive college course at Hamline University! Full scholarships are available to all students.

When: July 15 – July 26, 2024 | Monday – Friday
Who: Grades 10+

Summer Jazz Intensive

The Summer Jazz Intensive program is a one week comprehensive experience for beginner to advanced youth musicians to hone their performing skills, take applied classes and interact with world-class jazz faculty at Walker|West.

When: July 29 – Aug 2, 2024 | Monday – Friday | 10am – 4pm daily
Who: Grades 6-12

Summer Jazz Violin Workshop

5-Day Intensive (For intermediate violin students)

This 5-day workshop is for violin (only) students looking to branch out from traditional classical violin or who desire to take their improvisation to the next level.

When: August 5 – 9, 2024 | Monday – Friday | 9am – 12pm daily
Who: Grades 5-12


Categories
Newsletter

January Newsletter

Walker West Events for MLK Day

January 15, 2024

Reading of “Memphis 6:01” with RiceRoots LLC
This event is at capacity and closed to the public. Watch the livestream here.
Walker West is partnering with RiceRoots LLC to present in the debut readings of the powerful episode “Memphis 6:01©” at Walker West Music Academy’s new building, located at 650 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104. 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Doors for 1st reading close at 11:30 AM sharp. No admittance until next reading.

Kamoinge Strings @ Governor Walz’ MLK Awards Reception
Private Event
Kamoinge Strings will perform for the Governor’s MLK Awards Reception at the Ordway Music Music Center in downtown Saint Paul. This private event follows the 38th Annual State Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. This year’s theme is ONE DREAM. ONE MINNESOTA. Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan sponsored a series of events over the holiday weekend leading up to the celebration concert at the Ordway, which starts at 10:30 am.  Kamoinge Strings is honored to provide music for the private award reception immediately following the concert held backstage.


Jazz Piano Workshop

Co-presenting with Schubert Club. Designed for beginning through advanced middle and high school students, this day-long workshop includes skills-based group instruction, masterclasses, performances by the clinicians and scholarship awards! No prior jazz experience required. Prerequisite is 1 year private study on piano.

Clinicians include Mary Louise Knutson, Kavyesh Kaviraj, William Duncan and Bryan Nichols.

Registration deadline is Jan 17.

When: Saturday, January 27th from 9am to 4pm
Where: Inver Hills Community College


Experience Jazz Final Showcase Jan 20 at HSRA

Join Walker West for a showcase by our 20+ Experience Jazz students who have been working together for the last 12 weeks at High School for Recording Arts. Students of various backgrounds have been recording, rehearsing and creating music rooted in jazz, blues and R&B, and will share the music they’ve been working on. Student performance will be at 12:30pm, doors at 12:15pm.


Rondo Community Music Series Panel Discussion

JOIN US FOR DISCUSSIONS on Music, Culture, Community and Education. Conversations informed and influenced by the historic Rondo Community.

Wednesday, January 31 at 7:00 pm

Topic: Bowed Strings in Jazz featuring Ernest Bisong, Greg Byers, and David Feily


February 3rd RCMS Concert
ft. Minneapolis String Project

Rondo Community Music Series

Save Your Spot

Minneapolis String Project is a high energy trio that’s breaking boundaries through eclectic pop/funk covers and genre-defying original works. Ernest Bisong, David Feily, and Greg Byers performed together for years in diverse spheres of the Minnesota music scene before forming their unique musical partnership. This is their first appearance in the series.

MPLS String Project deviates from the standard repertoire of classical or bluegrass instruments and instead draws from jazz, fusion, rock, soul, folk, and Brazilian music influences. Their original compositions expand the conventional use of the many instruments they play. Live performances leave audiences dazzled by their technical wizardry, simpatico improvisation, and engaging on-stage presence.

*MPLS String project is sponsored by McPherson Guitars, Coda Bow, D’Addario Strings, NS Design, and Acoustic Electric Strings.

RSVP today to reserve your spot virtually on Crowdcast or 
Attend In-Person by registering on EventBrite!


Upcoming events

  • Recitals are January 27 @ 6pm and January 28 @ 4pm
  • Spring Semester Registration is happening now. The Semester starts Monday, January 29th. 

Save The Dates for Summer Camps!

Registration link and camp details will be available on our website February 1st!  Contact info@walkerwest.org for more information.

– “Grow Through Music” Camp from July 8 – 26
– Summer Jazz Intensive from July 29 – Aug 2
– Jazz Violin Workshop from August 5 – 9

Categories
Blog Newsletter

FEBRUARY 2024 NEWSLETTER | STRING STORIES

Photo by Benny Moreno

Notes from the Walker West Music Academy String Department

During National Black History Month, we celebrate the contributions of African Americans. As the oldest music school founded by African Americans in Minnesota, every month gives us a reason to celebrate the contributions of Black / African American music. In the String Department this month we highlight the musicians who perform jazz on bowed instruments.

On Wednesday January 31, 2024, we discuss the legacy of string instruments in jazz with our very own Ernest Bisong (upper strings instructor) and members of the Minneapolis String Project. This panel discussion is part of the Rondo Community Music Series moderated by Earl Ross. The goal of the discussion is to provide a deeper understanding of the history of bowed instruments in a musical genre not often known to include violins, violas, and cellos. When most audiences think of jazz and bowed instruments, they think of the double bass, a standard component of the rhythm section of jazz bands. The discussion will explore how the upper strings have been used in jazz dating back to its earliest days and how these instruments have continued to push boundaries beyond the Western classical music canons. If you haven’t already, register today for this online discussion

On Saturday, February 3, 2024, the Minneapolis String Project performs in concert at Walker West Music Academy, 760 Selby Ave at 7 pm. If you can’t make it in-person, you can stream the concert live. The concert is FREE, but you must register HERE. Minneapolis String Project is a high energy trio that’s breaks boundaries through eclectic pop/funk covers and genre-defying original works. Ernest Bisong (violin), David Feily (cello), and Greg Byers (guitar) performed in diverse spheres of the Minnesota music scene before forming their unique musical partnership.

As for our students, Kamoinge Strings will perform the National Black Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing for the opening of the Timberwolves game at the Target Center on Friday February 2, 2024. This is a first for Kamoinge Strings. They’ve performed for judges, lawyers and county commissioners, but never for the NBA. The students are excited to play their arrangement of the anthem as they set the tone for Black History Month in front of fifteen thousand basketball fans. It is apparently a first for the Timberwolves and the NBA. Normally the song is sung. The team has never had an instrumental version of the anthem performed. Talk about being pacesetters! Our students and string department continue to make history.

Ten of our current Walker West string students participate in the Minnesota Youth Symphonies (MYS), Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS), and/or Artaria Chamber Music School (ACMS). In February these students perform in their respective orchestras and chamber groups in winter concerts of these highly competitive organizations. On Friday, February 2, 2024, Rahel Hashel (violin) and Kamau Rodriguez-Pegg (viola) comprise two members of a string quintet performing Dvorak’s Quintet in G op. 77 for two violins, viola, cello and bass. Patty Ryan, a member of the Artaria String Quartet and cello instructor at Walker West coaches their chamber ensemble.

On Sunday, February 11, 2024, MYS performs at Orchestra Hall, and on February 24 and 25, GTCYS performs at Orchestra Hall. Check out the respective websites for these organizations and support our students!

Looking ahead… be sure to add to your calendar, Saturday March 9, 2024. Kamoinge Strings performs its winter concert, Stringocracy at Prospect Park UMC in Minneapolis. Students perform works from the Baroque period to Jazz and Hip Hop.

Categories
Blog Newsletter

Walker West String Department

With the New Year comes opportunities to share great news and inspiring stories about the work we do and the students and families we serve. Starting with the January Newsletter we begin a new feature, called String Stories highlighting the activities of our Walker West String Department.

For generations the academy has been known for its Keyboard, Wind, Vocal and Jazz Programs thanks to its co-founders, Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West, legendary pianists and music instructors in the Twin Cities particularly adept at Gospel and Jazz music. And band music teachers like Felix James and the late Tom Zosel who established the academy’s first jazz ensembles. The jazz ensemble program includes now Walker West alumni, Jack Breen (horns) and Kevin Washington (drums and percussion), with their other gifted jazz teaching artists-colleagues, Kavyesh Kavyraj (piano), Solomon Parham (trumpet), Ted Olsen (bass) to name just a few.

Although classes in string instruments were offered in the first few years, its program was often overshadowed by the other departments. Many in our community never knew that Walker West offered lessons in violin, viola, cello and the double bass. Most still do not know that the academy has a string department. This new feature seeks to rectify this oversight by providing information about students, recitals, concerts, and our string ensemble. If you read the December 2023 Newsletter, you would have seen two items about recent performances by Kamoinge Strings: a pre-concert performance for Sphinx Virtuosi at the Ordway, and gallery performances at the Bell Museum for the opening of their new planetarium show, “Secrets of the Forest”.

Each month, we will showcase brief stories from our String Department in the newsletter and direct you on occasion to longer pieces on our Walker West website. We hope to inspire you as you learn more about what we do with our students and families. And we hope these stories will encourage you to attend string department events featuring our students, staff and alumni. Our String Department currently is comprised of four instructors – Earl Ross (violin/viola), Ernest Bisong (violin/viola), Patty Ryan (cello) and Ted Olsen (bass). Our accompanists are Franco Holder and Jack Barrett.


Now onto the news…oops…music…

WHAT DO LAWYERS, A MONTANA COMMISSIONER AND REINDEER HORNS HAVE IN COMMON?

Why, Kamoinge Strings, of course!

As we look forward to 2024 events, we can’t forget the incredible performances of our string ensemble, Kamoinge Strings during the holiday season. The last half of November 2023 through December provided several important opportunities for our string students to showcase their talents at high-profile events.

On November Saturday 18, Kamoinge Strings performed at The Fillmore in the North Loop section of Minneapolis, near Target Field. The ensemble was invited to perform at the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL) Scholarship Gala. The theme was “Celebrating Black Excellence”. With nearly 1000 bedazzled guests, the Kamoinge performed music as attendees arrived and networked. An organization established to promote and support the professional development of Black lawyers, judges, and law students in Minnesota, it has deep ties to the area’s legal community and the state’s largest law schools. The event was a blast for the students who hung out it the upstairs green rooms and marveled at the names of performers on the wall backstage who’d played at the Fillmore. If we play there again, we’ll have to see if Kamoinge Strings has been added! According to the folks at the event, Kamoinge Strings lived up to the gala’s theme.

Twelve days later, on Thursday November 30, Kamoinge Strings regaled guests at the National Association of Counties (NACo) Executive Committee convening in Saint Paul. County Board of Commissioners from across the country including an especially enthusiastic commissioner of Kamoinge’s performance from Montana gathered on the fourth floor of the historic Landmark Center. The coordinators of the event sought out Walker West to provide entertainment by youth musicians. The ensemble was happy to do it. Kamoinge has performed in the past at the Landmark, but in the Atrium on the first level. For this event, the ensemble performed in one of the courtrooms. To perform in an old courtroom with beautiful wooden floors and high barreled ceilings is a dream for a sting ensemble. The resonance of the rooms is made for this instrumentation. Kamoinge represented the school and Ramsey County well. The students performed an array of music from its extensive repertoire that almost always includes, We Shall Overcome or Lift Every Voice and Sing. These specific songs are performed by the students to honor the mission and legacy of Walker West, an institution, founded by African Americans. The commissioners were “wowed” by the poise and sound of the ensemble. As Ramsey County Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire, current president of NACo stated in her thank you note, “You are all amazing! I really appreciate you and your music!” Thank you, Commissioner McGuire and all of the Ramsey County Commissioners who represent our community. We appreciated the opportunity to share our music.

We ended the year on Saturday December 9 at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St Paul where we performed our annual Holiday Concert. This year was the first time we featured Kamoinge Strings almost entirely. In past concerts, solos and duets would open the first half and Kamoinge performed selections in the second half. For our December 2023 concert, we had just one student provide a prelude selection and the rest of the concert were works performed by the ensemble.

When the lights went down in the Sanctuary, the students lined up along the outside of the pews and commenced with the Ukrainian holiday favorite, Carol of the Bells. The audience was surrounded by the sound of strings. From there the students moved to front of the where the assembled to perform Bach’s, Jesus bleibet meine Freude (Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring) accompanied by Franco Holder on the pipe organ. The lights were still down, allowing the just the glow of the blue-lighted Christmas Tree to shine in the sanctuary. The concert was magical! Kamoinge Strings continued with Corelli’s Christmas Concerto Grosso with violin solos by Rahel Hashel and Kamau Rodriguez-Pegg, Astor Piazolla’s Ave Maria, a Klezmer piece, and A Christmas Song with jazz improvisation solo by Ernest Bisong, to name just a few. The concert was filled with familiar and not so familiar works for strings. Something for everyone. When concluded the concert as we do every year with arrangement of Silent Night where the audience gets to participate These concerts are among our most popular and most fun. Students and teachers wear holiday hats and reindeer horns as they play to humanity for peace, joy and good cheer!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season. And we will look forward to seeing you at our future concerts!

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Kamoinge Strings at the Ordway Music Center | MLK Reception (January 15, 2024)
  • Kamoinge Strings | Winter Concert (March 9, 2024)

DEMOCRACY IN MUSIC – THE STRING DEPARTMENT RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Congratulations to the Walker West String Department which received a grant from one of the premier music schools in the country.

The Paul R Judy Center for Innovation and Research at the EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC will provide support funding for a project designed by the department to feature Kamoinge Strings, called Stringocracy.

The project will assist in building momentum and support across communities of color, especially the Black communities, to participate in voter registration and the presidential election. The featured ensemble, Kamoinge Strings, highlights and re-enforces the programmatic ideas of identity, democratic expression, social justice, and activism through the power of the ballot box. The project will most impact our students through their understanding of how music can be used to support civic engagement. We will know that we have been successful when our students and community are motivated to participate more directly in the election process and to correlate this work with the creative process of music. The skills engendered through this immersive process, we think, will teach participating students important tools for how to use their unique voices to affect change in their respective communities. Rehearsals for the first big event on March 9 will start in January. Students and instructors will work to create a program that includes music from the baroque period to hip hop that will convey the democratic musical expression of call and response and improvisation.

Categories
Newsletter

December Newsletter

Homies In Harmony

For children ages 0 – 6 and their caregivers.

Auntie Jayanthi introduces musical concepts and early sound exploration drawing from African American cultural experience, vital artists, and familiar folk music. Early music learners will explore various instruments, sing, and play in a nurturing environment.

For questions contact Student Services info@walkerwest.org

When: Fridays at 10 AM or 11 AM | December 1 – February 2
or
When: Saturdays at 10 AM or 11 AM | December 2 – February 3
School Closed:  December 29 & 30 and January 5 & 6


She Rock Open Jam

Join us for an open jam for girls, women, nonbinary and trans musicians of all ages! Sing or play with the She Rock house band, or just relax and enjoy the show! Drums, keyboards, amps, mics are provided.

Bring your own guitar, bass or drum sticks! Questions? Email jenny@sherocksherock.com or katia@walkerwest.org

When: Saturday, December 16th from 2pm to 5pm
Where: 760 Selby Avenue

JAZZ88 / KBEM

Thank you to our Women in Jazz Initiative sponsor, Jazz88, for your support, which makes this programming possible.


Support Walker West This Holiday Season

As you consider your year-end giving, we invite you to consider supporting Walker West. Give the gift of music this season to sustain music education that is rooted in community, and/or our capital campaign vision to expand programs, build capacity, and create a state-of-the-art facility.


Conversation and Q&A with Robert Glasper

“Jazz is the mother of hip hop.” Glasper     

Join us for an open conversation and Q&A with five time Grammy-Award Winning artist, Robert Glasper. Coupled with his breathtaking jazz piano canon, his genre-defying collaborations with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Garrett, Carly Simon, Erykah Badu, and Nora Jones, among others, have solidified his place as a musical luminary. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to gain insights and inspiration from one of the most versatile and influential figures in contemporary music. Open to songwriters, poets, beat makers, and musicians of all instruments, genres, and ages.

For questions contact Student Services info@walkerwest.orglawrence@walkerwest.org, or jack@walkerwest.org

When: Sunday, December 17th from 4pm to 5pm
Where: 760 Selby Avenue


January 17th RCMS Concert featuring Kavy plays Jamal

Rondo Community Music Series

Save Your Spot

Kavyesh Kaviraj is a pianist, composer and arranger from India. Although primarily a jazz pianist, he is known for his versatility as a musician; thanks to his experience in different musical climates he is closely involved with settings of many different genres and styles.

RSVP today to reserve your spot virtually on Crowdcast or Attend In-Person by registering on EventBrite!


Rondo Community Music Series Panel Discussion

Join us online for discussions with musicians, vocalists and spoken word artists that have connections to Walker West, the Twin Cities and the Rondo Community to share thoughts about music and this community’s rich legacy as a training ground for musicians.

Wednesday, January 10 at 7:00 pm

Topic: The legacy of Ahmad Jamal discussion led by Kavyesh Kavyraj and Jack BarrettWednesday, January 31 at 7:00 pm

Topic: Bowed Strings in Jazz featuring Ernest Bisong, Greg Byers, and David Feily


Jazz Piano Workshop

Co-presenting with Schubert Club. Designed for beginning through advanced middle and high school students, this day-long workshop includes skills-based group instruction, masterclasses, performances by the clinicians and scholarship awards! No prior jazz experience required. Prerequisite is 1 year private study on piano. Clinicians include Mary Louise Knutson, Kavyesh Kaviraj, William Duncan and Bryan Nichols. Registration deadline is Jan 17.

When: Saturday, January 27th from 9am to 4pm
Where: Inver Hills Community College


Students and families enjoy a performance by Experience Jazz faculty on the first day of program at High School for Recording Arts, October 7, 2023.

Experience Jazz Kicks off with Record Enrollment

This fall, Walker West launched a new ensemble program called “Experience Jazz” (EJ) in partnership with High School for Recording Arts (HSRA), where students rehearse together at HSRA’s St. Paul campus, in their state-of-the-art “Studio 4.” Originally a program of Minnesota Jazz Education/Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education started in 2017, this year’s program saw record enrollment at WWMA! Over 12 weeks, 20+ students of various skill levels meet on Saturdays to make music, hone their skills playing in an ensemble, and record music together. Faculty member, Kevin Washington says, ”What EJ is doing is teaching students to be in the studio at a very young age. Being in the studio is a whole other world, a completely different experience, and I love how patient and flexible the group is with each other. You gotta start somewhere!” This year’s program will culminate in a final performance on Jan 20, along with other WW jazz ensembles. Keep an eye out for the show announcement!


WWMA Teaching Artist, Sowah Mensah, shares teaching techniques and approaches with SCASD teachers during Professional Development Day, September 15, 2023.

Partnership with St. Cloud Area School District is in Full Swing

In 2022, St. Cloud Area School District 742 (SCASD) invited Walker West Music Academy  (WWMA) to assist with developing programming to address the limited Somali and African American student enrollment in their music programs. Walker West has since begun a 3 year partnership with SCASD to create and implement strategies, residencies, student-based programs and professional development opportunities that tackle challenges related to this issue. Now in year 2, this project has accomplished the following: 

  • Formation of a 14-member advisory council of artists, educators and community leaders from St. Cloud, St. Paul and WWMA to plan and implement programming. 
  • Four residencies with WWMA teaching artists serving over 350 SCASD 5th grade students 
  • Two Professional Development workshops with SCASD Music teachers, led by WWMA teaching artists and faculty.

Planning for year 3 is currently underway, shifting focus to SCACD’s robust infrastructure of monthly gatherings with various communities of color. Our intention for Year 3 is to create new connections with families from these communities, and creating programming that welcomes and supports participation in SCASD music education opportunities. 


SPHINX VIRTUOSI PRE-CONCERT WITH KAMOINGE STRINGS

On Sunday, October 15, Kamoinge Strings performed their first concert of the season at the Ordway Music Center in downtown St. Paul. The premiere string ensemble of Walker West set the mood for the audience attending the Sphinx Virtuosi concert. The ensemble comprises 12 violinists ages 12 to 18 years from our string studios. In addition to Kamoige, these diverse and accomplished students participate in the highly competitive Minnesota Youth Symphonies, Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, and the Artaria Chamber Music School. The event was sponsored by the Schubert Club and entailed the ensemble sharing and in many cases, introducing their artistry to the Sphinx Virtuosi audience and personnel. Comprised of 18 accomplished Black and Latinx artists, Sphinx Virtuosi is an internationally acclaimed, dynamic, and inspiring professional self-conducted chamber orchestra that serves as the flagship performing entity of the Sphinx Organization – the leading social justice non-profit dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.


Faculty News

The debut album of Kinetic, a conductorless string ensemble, reached #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Charts during the week of November 18.  Walker|West cello faculty, Patty Ryan, is a founding member of the ensemble and plays on every track of the award winning album.


KEEPIN’ ON PODCAST HOLIDAY 3-SERIES

KEEPIN’ ON kicks off the holiday season with a bundle of three podcasts.

Listen Here


String Department Holiday Recital

Features all studios and Kamoinge String Ensemble

When: Saturday, December 9th at 6pm 
Where: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer

Categories
Newsletter

November Newsletter

November 11 RCMS Concert featuring WDP Crew ft. Robert Robinson

Rondo Community Music Series

Save Your Spot

Duncan & Robinson return to the series for the 4th time. We can’t wait of the sounds of these incredible artists hit the airwaves again. This duo, along with background from the WDP singers will perform gospel, jazz and R&B. As Mr. Duncan promised, “you’ll be inspired and you won’t walk out the same.

RSVP today to reserve your spot virtually on Crowdcast or Attend In-Person by registering on EventBrite!


November 12 Secrets from a Forest Special Guests: Kamoinge Strings of Walker West Music Academy

Mention “Walker|West” at the ticketing desk for $5 off gallery admission for adults and $6 off for youth 3-21

Join us for an in-gallery performance by Kamoinge Strings from Walker West Music Academy.

When: Sunday, November 12 | 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Where: Bell Museum | 2088 Larpenteur Avenue W, St Paul, 55113

Recommended for all ages


November 13 Masterclass & Concert: Steve Hirsh and the Sparks Quartet

We are excited to announce a special event that will enrich the musical journey of our talented students. On November 13th, Walker West will be hosting Steve Hirsh and the Sparks Quartet, featuring renowned musicians William Parker, Eri Yamamoto, Chad Fowler, and Steve Hirsh, for a captivating masterclass and concert.

When: November 13 | Masterclass at 4 PM, Concert at 7 PM

Who: Masterclass is open to all musicians, feel free to bring your instrument. Concert open to students, family and general public.

Where: 760 Selby Ave, St. Paul, MN

For questions please contact jack@walkerwest.org or 651-224-2929.


Registration Open Adult Group Voice Class

Sing in a group setting, and learn from professional vocal and choral instructors. Participants will be guided through seven 45 minute sessions each Saturday in vocal basics, choral technique, part singing, operating in harmonies, and “Circlesongs”.

When: Saturdays at 3 PM | October 28 – December 16, 2023

Where: 650 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104

Who: Ages 18+, all skill levels

Instructors:
Sarah Greer and Carl Clomon (Guest Instructors)
William Duncan, Liam Vance, and Kevin Jackson (Voice Department Faculty)

Cost: $30 per class, $210.00 for full 7 weeks

For questions, contact info@walkerwest.org or 651-224-2929.


Registration is open for Session 2 of Homies In Harmony with Auntie Jayanthi (8 Weeks)

For children ages 0 – 6 and their caregivers.

Auntie Jayanthi introduces musical concepts and early sound exploration drawing from African American cultural experience, vital artists, and familiar folk music. Early music learners will explore various instruments, sing, and play in a nurturing environment.

For questions contact Student Services: info@walkerwest.org.

When: Fridays at 10 AM or 11 AM | December 1 – February 2
or
When: Saturdays at 10 AM or 11 AM | December 2 – February 3
School Closed:  December 29 & 30 and January 5 & 6


December 2 RCMS Concert featuring Katia Cardenas Ensemble

Rondo Community Music Series

Save Your Spot

Luminous, multi-genre vocalist and international touring artist Katia Cardenas inspires audiences with her sultry, soulful voice and infectious energy and presence. Possessing an impeccable range and dynamic style, Katia grew up in a musical family, and her professional training came largely “on the job,” performing throughout high school with her mother’s Bay Area bands and collaborating with her Seattle-based father on numerous recording projects.

RSVP today to reserve your spot virtually on Crowdcast or Attend In-Person by registering on EventBrite!


December 8 Shed G Comedy Series

Micheal Prince & Piper The Comedian

When: December 8 | Doors Open at 7 PM
Where: New Hope Cinema Grill | 2749 Winnetka Ave North

VitalCulture.com | Cash App $ShedG $20


On Saturday, November 4th, members and staff of the AGC Chorus for Dementia Awareness at Walker | West presented and participated in the Mayo Clinic’s 2023 Conference on Brain Health and Dementia. The conference aimed to provide attendees with an opportunity to explore emotional wellness for oneself and the knowledge to positively impact emotional wellness for those living with dementia.

The University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) in North Minneapolis was one of seven regional watch sites for the conference that centered personal, cultural perspectives and engaged approximately 40 community participants.  

Presenters and facilitators included those living with dementia, care partners, healthcare professionals, artists, advocates, and researchers who are all dedicated to this topic. The event was presented in partnership with the #AlzheimersAssociation and #AARP. The watch site partners also included the AGC Chorus at Walker | West, the Alter Program for dementia awareness, the University Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation, and UROC.