ZYDECO For Kids

GRAMMY Nominated Andre Thierry, a gifted composer and accordion virtuoso is collaborating with Performing Stars of Marin, creating a musical project for youth in Marin County. The program combines traditional and newly composed music, exploring the Creole culture and Zydeco, the music of Southwest Louisiana. A relatively new genre of world music, having come about as a style of its own in only the mid 1900s.

“Zydeco for Kids” offers fun interactive ways to share a mix of African, Native American  Blues, French dance melodies and elements of

Afro-Caribbean music.  The instruments introduced are the vest

scrub boards, drums and accordion, all popular Zydeco instruments.

The project was introduced in March 2012 at Performing Stars in
Marin City, California. The artist used this theme to structure this collaboration composing work that the children can process.

All have responded to a variety of works and to other aspects of

social transformation.  The project provides cross curricular and experiential learning opportunities, leading to performing with the artist at large-scale events.

“Zydeco for Kids with Andre Thierry” and Performing Stars have cultivated a strong bond that has taken root in Marin County. The musical project is sprouting success. The artist and organization are in their third year together dedicated to music. The group will continue to connect with new generations engaging the creative process of composing, performing new works and developing a “ladder of leadership.” Future participants have the opportunity to be mentored by the youth that began with the original project.

Founded in 1990 to give diverse, often marginalized, low-income children in Marin the opportunity to “reach for the stars” by participating in arts, Performing Stars of Marin has become one of the leading youth arts programs in the County. Performing Stars serves approximately 100 young people per year, from all over Marin, with most from the low-income areas of Marin City and San Rafael’s Canal District.

Performing Stars believes that every child wants the chance to be a star and that given positive reinforcement and recognition for achievement, he or she will “act out” and “star” in positive, rather than negative roles. Performing Stars is a social service organization that uses arts and cultural enrichment programs to promote positive life and leadership skills for all of life’s many “performances.”

The mission of Performing Stars is to build pride, character, discipline, and self-esteem in the hearts and lives of low-income, primarily multicultural, children. We achieve our mission through connecting youth and their families with arts, recreation, and other cultural enrichment programs that develop good work habits and positive social skills, enhance analytical thinking, improve communication skills, and increase professional readiness. Further, by exposing youth to county-wide experience beyond young people’s cultural comfort zone, Performing Stars promotes important personal growth and transformation.

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