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26/07/2023 News

In Marciac, young people get creative to the sound of jazz

The famous Jazz in Marciac festival is celebrating its 45th anniversary this summer and TotalEnergies Foundation is renewing its support by accompanying the AIMJ (Jazz initiation workshops) run at the Aretha Franklin junior high in Marciac. A unique opportunity for these young people to learn how to play an instrument and try their hand at improvisation.

The Jazz in Marciac festival is known worldwide and every summer attracts the greatest musicians and huge crowds of enthusiasts, getting people singing and swinging in the streets of this peaceful village in the Gers.

In addition to this major jazz event, Jazz in Marciac has also been committed to a real cultural education project for the territory, for the past 30 years. It has introduced various actions to provide training, raise awareness of, and educate in jazz and improvised music at the Aretha Franklin junior high school.

Each year, in the AIMJ (Jazz initiation workshops), teachers and professional musicians teach more than a hundred students from sixth to ninth grade in playing instruments and improvisation.

In addition to their regular classes, the junior high school students take part in master classes, throughout the year or at the festival, given by the greatest musicians where they are introduced to new techniques or other types of jazz-related music.

Lastly, the students who have taken part in the AIMJ can form bands, known as “combos”, and give concerts at other schools in the region and at local events – real highlights for these young people and the territory. 

The main purpose of these AIMJ is not to train tomorrow's professional musicians but to offer the students a chance to think outside the box, and give them a taste for imagination, freedom, boldness and togetherness. Learning to play an instrument is an opportunity for them to develop their perseverance, sensitivity and precision. Improvisation, which is both liberating and creative, encourages them to take initiatives, express themselves and gain independence. Lastly, playing as part of an orchestra is a way of starting to experience listening to others, and citizenship.