Blues in the Schools Goes Mainstream in Saskatoon

Chip Eagle
Tue Mar 1 14:51:47 EST 2005

FJ, thanks for that cool, inspiring message. You keep up that great work and
your attitude will spread. We're as dead as we wanna be!

Chip Eagle
Blues Revue/BluesWax

-----Original Message-----
From: Blues Music List [mailto:BLUES-L@LISTS.NETSPACE.ORG]On Behalf Of
Fruteland Jackson**
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 8:01 PM
Subject: Blues in the Schools Goes Mainstream in Saskatoon

Today I spoke at a Rotary Club luncheon today in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and
consider this a notable event in my career.

I am sponsored by the Saskatoon Blues Society and will visit 10 classrooms
and perform at Third Annual Saskatoon Blues Festival.

This was my first time speaking to civic leaders regarding Blues Education
and its remedial effects. I was honored by the invitation. I was the only
person of color in this large banquet hall at the Bessborough Hotel (where
the Prime Minister and other dignitaries lodge. There were business leaders
and leading church officials. The only officer I saw and met was the Chief
of Police. This Rotary club has adopted one of the inner-city schools that
are pre-dominantly aboriginal.

Their support Blues in the Schools programs was quite remarkable. I am being
chauffeured around in a new   Ford Explorer provided by a local dealership.
The local music store has provided my sound equipment. Other sponsors
include The Cherry Insurance Company, The Cameco Company (a large uranium
mining company that was the first to come on board after watching my video
produced by Mako Funasaka of Talkin' Blues". They sent an advance camera
team to Toronto to interview me for their local television.

The Saskatoon Blues society has been successful in developing their
reputation and credibility in their city so that when they put on a shows
the people will come (even if they are unfamiliar with the artist), and when
they need sponsors, sponsors line up.

It has been my experience that when a blues society with structure and
outreach and an active commitment to blues education, they can get the ear
of mainstream civic organizations and large corporations.   More artists who
can present the programs in a school environment are also needed. Blues in
the Schools is not simply playing live music in a school. There should be a
strong educational component put together with teaching standards. The
remedial effects include:

Provides Education and entertainment

 Enhances students creativity

 Increases thinking and problem solving ability

 Enhances literacy both academically and socially

Helps develop aesthetic judgment

 Develops self-esteem (removes self-doubt)

 Brings about cross-cultural understanding

 Improves school attendance

Provides career opportunities

Valuable teaching tool for students with special needs

 Instills a sense of pride, music potential and self-accomplishment

 Breaks down social barriers (teaches tolerance)

Works well with children from all walks of life.

I spoke for about twenty minutes and took some questions. I was asked to
sing the St. Louis Blues by a stately elderly lady who shared that she was
87 years old lady and her husband was 92 years old. I was also asked to sing
a field holler (to my surprise). I received a standing ovation and was
gifted with a fine writing pen. This would not have happened with the Blues
society's integrity.

I wish we would put our energy into broadening the future of the blues
instead beating up on the only organization we have (The Blues
Foundation).From where I sit the blues is not dying it is spreading. How
about some more help? No whiners need apply.

Fruteland Jackson

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