From Jamey

Jammin’ With Jamey Program

A few weeks ago, on a Friday night after the NAHS football game was long over I drove into the school parking lot to ask some students who had won the game. I found three that looked to be middle school age and asked them. They told me the score and one boy, after noticing the JAZZ on my tee shirt tells the others, “Hey, that’s Jamey. He’s the one that does the no smoking program.” I told him he had good memory. He then said he saw the word JAZZ and knew it was me.

I’ve been doing these Jammin’ With Jamey Program at local schools for years. We setup a time with each school where they gather students for an assembly and we spend an hour or so playing some jazz and I talk to them about the dangers of smoking. Now, doing the programs takes a lot of effort to load the van, then unload the van at the school and set up. Do the programs and then load the van, drive home and the unload the van, etc. I’m certainly not complaining. It’s something I truly enjoy doing for the students.

This incident and many others with various kids over the years whom I run into – some who are now in their TWENTIES, recall our school visits. JAZZ AND NOT SMOKING go right together. It pays off. FREEDOM.

Each episode reminds me that they really listen and they REMEMBER what you have to say and share with them once you get their attention and trust. Also, me shooting 3 pointers, the band playing jazz while they are coming into the gym and getting seated sets the stage that something exciting and important is about to happen.

Music brings people together. Get them tapping their feet, clapping their hands and look out!

This type program should be duplicated all over the U.S.A.

By Jamey Aebersold

Jamey is a internationally-known saxophonist and authority on jazz education and improvisation. Jamey has been a driving force in America's native art form, Jazz, and continues to kindle the fires of musical imagination in those with whom he comes in contact.

4 replies on “Jammin’ With Jamey Program”

Dear Jamey,

Your talent as a player and teacher and your commitment to service make you a servant leader in your student’s lives!

I consider myself one of your students – having first begin using your play-along records in 1977, and having attended your summer camp in 2010!

Thank you for all you’ve done and are doing in service of the music and your health mission as well…


Thank you Jamey for your leadership on sharing jazz education and smoking prevention with our youth. Your promotion of a healthy lifestyle is greatly needed for young people. Smoking can cause lung and breast cancer and also lead to nerve damage.

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