Summer Institute For Educators

Plan to attend the Institute this July 16-19, 2018 (approximately 8:30-4:30), in the Metropolitan Arts Center (next to the Victoria Theatre). The Institute is free for teachers and administrators. It is focused on high school and middle school classroom experiences, but elementary and preschool teachers are welcome to attend and will certainly find much of the experience applicable! Teachers can also earn seat hours and/or UD credit hours (details on registration form).

Register teachers – coming this spring Register student Muse Captains – coming this spring Register student jazz musicians – coming this spring Liability release form for student participants Receive UD credit at the 2017 Summer Institute

Visiting artist Eli Yamin shares a happy teaching moment with Muse student Jonathan Johnson.

Our presenters

Ellis Marsalis is a jazz pianist, composer and one of the most renowned music educators in the U.S. Ellis performed alongside Ornette Coleman, Nat and Cannonball Adderly and others to become one of the most respected pianists in jazz. In the mid 70s, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts named him the director of the jazz studies program. His famous students include Harry Connick, Jr. as well as Ellis’ own sons, Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, named in his honor, celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Ellis is an inductee of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and recipient of the NEA Jazz Masters Award.

Seton Hawkins serves as Director of Public Programs and Education Resources at Jazz at Lincoln Center. At JALC, Hawkins oversaw the creation and expansion of the Jazz Academy media library, creating the largest free video library in the world dedicated to jazz pedagogy. He leads the organization’s Swing University teaching initiative, while also hosting all Listening Parties and public programs at Jazz at Lincoln Center and giving free pre-concert lectures before major shows in Rose Theater and in the Appel Room. He has written extensively for Hot House Jazz and for, with a particular emphasis on the jazz scene of South Africa.

Eli Yamin is a jazz and blues pianist, producer, educator and Steinway artist. Raised in the bands of jazz masters Walter Perkins, Illinois Jacquet and Barry Harris, Yamin’s exciting and imaginative piano playing has taken him and his groups around the world as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. Department of State and has led him to perform and teach at Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as invited for a command performance at President Obama’s White House. Yamin co-founded The Jazz Drama Program, which uplifts students, teachers and their communities through interactive experiences in the jazz arts—storytelling, music, theatre, dance and visual arts. Yamin’s compositions “A Healing Song,” about the healing power of the blues, and “Rwandan Child” about the wisdom of children, awaken a shared sense of humanity, love and joy in all audiences.

Dara N. Byrne is Dean of Undergraduate Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York in the Department of Communication and Theater Arts. She is also the Faculty Director of the College’s Honor’s Program. She is a specialist in critical language studies, intercultural communication, and digital media. Byrne will play a critical role with Mr. Yamin in guiding teachers to develop curriculum. Bryne and Yamin will demonstrate the power of using essential questions and inquiry-based instruction practices to promote high-order thinking skills in curriculum and instruction. Her publications include contributions to volumes, such as Brown v. Board of Education: Its Impact on Public Education 1954-2004 (2005, Word for Word); Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media (2008, MIT Press).

Drummer, educator and clinician, Alvin Atkinson, Jr. has toured the globe with his group Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants. In 2009, the group traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon for the U.S. State Department’s Musical Overtures tour. In 2007 and 2008, the group participated in the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad Program (sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center) tour to the Middle East and Russia. In 2008, Jazz at Lincoln Center asked Alvin to lead the “All-Star American Music Abroad Group” tour to Mali, India and China.

Acclaimed by Downbeat Magazine as a singer with “soulful inflection and remarkable, Fitzgerald-esque scat prowess” and hailed by All About Jazz as a “first class saxophonist that blows the proverbial roof off the place,” Camille Thurman has been amazing audiences throughout the world with her impeccable sound, remarkable vocal virtuosity and captivating artistry. Many have compared her vocal abilities to those of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter.


Jazz calls us to engage with our national identity. It gives us expression to the beauty of democracy and of personal freedom and of choosing to embrace humanity of all types of people. It really is what American democracy is supposed to be.

Wynton Marsalis