The Jazz Drama Program started as:
"An extremely successful series of jazz musicals staged at the Louis Armstrong Middle School in Corona, Queens. Can you imagine 50+ youngsters steeped in blues, bebop and swing, including free-form interludes inspired by Sun Ra? Believe it."
All About Jazz New York
Jazz composer Eli Yamin and teacher/writer Clifford Carlson joined forces in 1998. After writing and premiering 5 new musicals in 5 years people starting taking notice. National Public Radio and the Daily News did a story on their work and middle schoolers in Washington Heights did their own version of Nora's Ark, the jazz musical by Yamin and Carlson. Since the first premiere, 5 Yamin/Carlson musicals have had 15 productions at numerous schools all over the New York Metro area. Hundreds of young people have embraced the work with their time and talent by performing the shows as dancers, singers, actors, instrumentalists and technical crew and over 20,000 children and adults have applauded their efforts.
Jazz offers a unique opportunity for young people to improvise, work together in teams and express feelings. The Jazz Drama program is unique by combining jazz and theatre and developing stories in tune with today's youth. The Jazz Drama Program became a non-profit 501c3 corporation in 2004 to commission original jazz musicals for young people and disseminate the work worldwide.
Nora's Ark, the jazz musical by Eli Yamin and Clifford Carlson is now available for rental with licensing fees to produce in your space as a either a mini-production or the full scale version. Both versions come with a CD of the songs, piano/vocal score, script and orchestrations for several instruments. Professional Development and Artistic Consulting are fee-based services that can also be contracted.