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New “Neighborhood Jams” Site Kicks Off Program at Mander Playground

Get Jazzy! New “Neighborhood Jams” Site Kicks Off Program at Mander Playground

Posted by:  Brian Adamczyk, Education Program Coordinator on March 15, 2019

On Tuesday, March 12, a jazz-filled kick-off event was held to officially launch the second Neighborhood Jams site at Mander Playground. The event featured a performance by the established Mill Creek Brass Band from the original site at Mill Creek, and invited community partners from Woodford Mansion, East Park Revitalization Alliance, and Brothers of Strawberry Mansion. 

Neighborhood Jams is a developmental program that allows interested students to learn to play traditional jazz instruments during an after-school program in their neighborhood. The program provides instruments for each child and instruction from a Kimmel Center Teaching Artist. To give the new Mander students a preview of what they had to look forward to in the program, the students from the established Mill Creek site (now know as the Mill Creek Brass Band) played a few songs for the kick off audience.

Mill Creek Brass Band Performing

Students from the Mill Creek Brass Band performing at Mander Playground.

The kick-off event also included a performance by a University of the Arts student trio, led by double bassist Dan McCain. The Teaching Artist for Mander Playground, bass trombonist Barry McCommon joined Dan McCain and the UArts trio for the song “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.” Many of the new Mander students were visibly engaged with the trio and some even mimicked the movements of the drummer throughout the performance. After the event ended, interested students had the chance to talk with the UArts drummer, who proceeded to demonstrate patterns, rhythms, and even let the students sit to try out the drums, one by one.

UArts trio and Barry McCommon

Dan McCain and his trio from UArts, joined by Teaching Artist Barry McCommon on bass trombone

Learn more about our Neighborhood Jams program, now in its second year, at

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