Students Learn About Culture, Music At South Coast Venue Best Known For Concerts

Thousands of excited elementary school students poured into the Santa Barbara Bowl, but it wasn't to see a traditional concert like Katy Perry or Sugarland. They were on hand to learn about culture and music.

The more than 4000 students split between a pair of shows learned about Japanese Taiko drumming, through a mini-concert by the Taiko Center of Los Angeles.

The program is part show, and part education.

The Santa Barbara Bowl is using this event as a kickoff to efforts to ramp up its educational programs. The program is a collaboration of community groups.

The Bowl is hoping to host one of these educational concerts a year in the future.

- KCLU's Lance Orozco reports on a reboot of a program to offer arts, and music education through events at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Elementary School Students to Get Taste of Taiko

Santa Barbara Bowl, in collaboration with the Children’s Creative Project, will present performers from the Taiko Center of Los Angeles in two free Japanese drumming shows for Santa Barbara area public schools on Monday, April 9.
The 45-minute programs will be at the Bowl at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m. The performances are not open to the public.
As part of the Bowl’s performing arts Education Outreach initiative, the event will host more than 4,400 students for the musical presentations where the students will experience high-energy performances of Japanese taiko drumming. Taiko Center of Los Angeles, founded by Rev. Tom Kurai in 1996, works to preserve the art of Japanese taiko drumming in the community through classes, workshops and shows. The group has performed more than 2,000 times across Southern California.
“These special performances are the result of wonderful collaborations between organizations dedicated to providing diverse art and cultural opportunities for children and families,” said Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools.
“We are grateful for the commitment of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, the city of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture to increase access to art and culture and make this extraordinary opportunity available to so many of our students,” she said.
The Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Education Outreach provides support and funding for performing arts education in the Santa Barbara community and dedicates $1 of every ticket sold at the Bowl to this end.
Education Outreach, part of the Bowl’s core mission, reaches 20,000 touch-points with students each year and provides funding to artists, schools, and nonprofit arts programs to advance performing arts education in our area.
The Bowl thanks event donors Elizabeth and Kenny Slaught for underwriting all performance costs; and Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture for providing a grant to assist with the costs of bus transportation.
A program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, Children’s Creative Project presents visual and performing arts instruction by resident artists and touring artist performances in 92 schools serving 50,000 students in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties each year.
The Children’s Creative Project also presents the annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival to support, in part, their arts education programs. This year’s festival is May 26–28 at the Santa Barbara Mission.

By Eric Shiflett for Santa Barbara Bowl

Wynton Marsalis Plays Duke for the Kids

Toes tapped and hairs on the backs of necks remained standing for a full hour 10/4 as the elegant musical language of Duke Ellington filled Granada Theatre for 1,400 6th graders from two dozen South Coast schools. “Ellington was the most important composer in all of jazz,” Wynton Marsalis (pictured above) told the kids as his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra paid homage, breaking down the “hot style,” “sweet style,” stride piano, and New Orleans influence that Ellington wove together, starting in the 1920s. Brought to town by the Children’s Creative Project and UCSB Arts & Lectures, Marsalis impressed upon the school kids Ellington’s lifelong “desire to learn” and his self-styled status as “the world’s greatest listener.” 

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