A Musical Education

17 Sep 20105
Music Rising,  co-founded in 2005 by The Edge, producer Bob Ezrin and Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz have announced a $1 million program in partnership with Tulane University to develop a college curriculum that will provide a permanent, comprehensive and definitive study of the musical heritage of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. The Music Rising program is administered by the Gibson Foundation.

Music Rising has worked closely with Nick Spitzer, professor of anthropology and American studies and creator of Tulane€™s public radio program American Routes in creating the connection with Tulane. The curriculum for the program on music and culture of the Gulf Coast will be implemented at Tulane and available to other universities through web and print materials. In addition to drawing from field, studio and live interviews, programs and performances of the American Routes Collection, the curriculum will draw upon the resources of the William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz as well as the Maxwell Music Library, the Louisiana Collection, the Southern Institute and the New Orleans Gulf South Center, all housed at Tulane.

'I wouldn€™t be where I am today without the unique musical heritage that is New Orleans,' said The  Edge.  'So much has come from that part of America.  From the birth of jazz, the roots of Rock'n'Roll and R&B, to the traditional celebrations in the streets, New Orleans has provided all of us with great musical traditions. This new curriculum, which I am personally very proud of, will help preserve this history and educate for many years to come.'

'Our goal has always been to preserve the musical culture of New Orleans and the Central Gulf.  We started by replacing instruments that were lost in the hurricanes of 2005.' said Bob Ezrin 'And now we are thrilled to be working with the wonderful folks at Tulane University to develop a course of study that will allow people from the region and all over the world to study and understand that culture and the music that creates it.'

The Music Rising curriculum at Tulane will preserve the great musical heritage of the Gulf Coast region and eventually be adapted to educational levels ranging from elementary through high school. Preserving the music of the region has always been the driving force behind the many initiatives Music Rising has supported since its inception in 2005 after the devastating hurricanes of Katrina and Rita.

 It is critical to the organization that the various styles of music which have borrowed from earlier traditions be understood and taught to future generations. New Orleans' has been the birthplace of jazz, blues, Dixieland and even funk, all of which make the region arguably one of the most important spawning grounds for global musical culture. Building the Music Rising curriculum will also serve as a catalyst to develop a comprehensive system of archives that will preserve a vast amount of Gulf Coast based cultural history.

'Tulane University is the perfect partner for this venture.  From their Music and Humanities departments which are world renowned to Nick Spitzer's American Routes and the amazing archives that they have built over the decades,' said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar.  'Now, all of these departments and disciplines will be engaged in a historical collaboration in creating this amazing course of study. We are very proud that Gibson Foundation could play such an integral role.'

Tulane Provost Michael Bernstein foresees that new public service opportunities for Tulane students could arise from the Music Rising curriculum. Tulane requires that all undergraduate students complete a specified number of service-learning hours, which are connected to their coursework.

'This is the kind of collaboration that lies at the heart of the service-learning commitment at Tulane - an enduring promise to our city, our state, and our region that the talents and imagination of our very best artists, scholars, and students will serve the interests and needs of the community,' Bernstein said. 'Tulane is profoundly grateful to Bob Ezrin, Music Rising and the Gibson Foundation for their exceedingly generous support of a significant endeavor on behalf of the arts and culture of the Gulf Coast region.'

Through the project Music Rising hopes to create a new generation of students, scholars, musicians and community members who can perform, document, produce, preserve and advocate for the music and cultures of the Gulf Coast and create an opportunity to generate awareness of the significant importance of the musical heritage and traditions that originated from this region of the United States.

More on Music Rising here

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Connecting Edge Initiative
There's solace in music that moves the masses and there's no better educational focus than instilling an appreciation for it in the hearts and minds of the next generation of youth.
A perfect match
Tulane and Music Rising are a perfect match. Both are incredibly supportive of New Orleans and the needs of the Gulf Coast. Having donated to MR in the past to help re-supply ravished instruments, and being the parent of a Tulane student, I am so delighted to read of this alliance. It is one more example of The Edge 's insightful musical and humanitarian impact worldwide.
Something else
U2, please bring back the unforgettable fire, i would love it when you guys play the unforgettable fire in brussels, at least the first night! PLEASE! I love this song sooo much, it's my first U2-concert ever, and I'm waiting for ages, and I was so excited about the Unforgettable Fire, and when I check the new playlist, no unforgettable fire, that shouldn't be true, it's one of the best U2-songs ever and I swear I'll go crazy when you play this song, please, please, play the unforgettable fire!
When love comes to Tulane
With the co-foundation of Music Rising The Edge truly cared about musicians who had lost their instruments because of the horrible hurricanes in 2005. The new college curriculum is an amazing project that will enable students to get to know the long and outstanding tradition of American music. It is very important that people from younger generations get a chance to learn about their musical heritage, because an extensive knowledge of various styles such as jazz and blues is the best basis to add new chapters to music history. During the "Joshua Tree" Tour U2 were also busy students with the ambition to explore the roots of their music and "Rattle And Hum" (both album and movie) was not only an amazing opportunity to honour American music; U2 went one step further by creating their own unique style of blues. For me U2 were also educators when I was 15. Back then the movie "Rattle And Hum" was my only possibility to see my favourite band for the very first time, but when watching the film I also got to know the incredible and unique guitar style of B.B.King!
Those of us here are so grateful ! This gift will ensure that the legacy of so many wonderful musicians will live on, despite the hardships of the community. Music Rising, we love you all... XXXX
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