Music On The Inside: Changing lives of the incarcerated through music

Alina Bloomgarden, founder and director of the arts program Music On The Inside (MOTI) said: amnews In a recent interview, she said it was jazz great Louis Armstrong himself who inspired her to start programming. She first learned that when he was a child, Colored His Wife’s Home He spent his childhood at the Four Boys when he was producing a show about the music legend at her Lincoln Center. The boy, who was 11 at the time, was reportedly sent to a reformed school for shooting six shots out of his stepfather’s .38 revolver at a New Year’s Eve parade. “They had a music teacher and a band, and he already loved music, but it was the first serious musical education he had,” she said.

The revelation put her on pause. “I asked myself, ‘What are we doing today for incarcerated youth and adults?’ Because I know how music can heal.”

It took Bloomgarden another year to ruminate on the subject before finally coming up with the idea of ​​MOTI, a program that takes musicians to prison as teachers and mentors.Founding Jazz at Lincoln Center As a person, Bloomgarden had many contacts, and she asked for help with the idea. She said, “I know many jazz musicians, and over the years many musicians in general have shown a great deal of empathy and desire to help those affected by incarceration. I learned.”

This organization was launched in December 2015.

Interestingly, Bloomgarden is not a musician himself, but has spent most of his life a lover of music, especially jazz. Her enthusiasm for the genre, along with her exposure to musician Barry Harris’ historic jazz cultural theater, led to the creation of Jazz at Lincoln Center. You will feel the healing quality. [at Jazz Cultural Theatre] And it moved me a lot. I later wrote a proposal that I thought jazz had its rightful place in America’s preeminent performing arts center. ”

After four years of trial and error, Nat Leventhal, then president of Lincoln Center, finally gave her the go-ahead. Jazz at Lincoln Center was founded in 1987 and opened at the Time Warner Center in 2004.

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