September 2, 2011 @ 1:42 AM

2011 - Jam Pak Goes to Washington 
Excerpt of the article written about the trip in the July 2011 issue of Arizona Bluegrass Beacon by Anni Beach
Photos courtesy of Giselle Lee
Three Jam Pak musicians, Elyssa Tapetillo, Giselle Lee, and Francisco Briseno, all banjo players, flew with me to Washington, DC for one week. We designed an Independent Education Project which included working at Septima Clark Public Charter School, an all boys school in the heart of southeast Washington. Jam Pak helped to establish a banjo program called BanJam this past school year funded by a grant which, unfortunately, is no longer available. 
Our goal was to find and train a person within the school to carry on. We led music in every classroom from three year olds through fourth grade, playing songs ("Two Dollar Bill" of course) using the banjos and the canjos. Working over the course of three days we got the resident music teacher, who is mainly a horn and drum man, excited and ready to teach simple banjo. Charts were made, the twelve banjos already on hand were checked and tweaked, and a new shelf to hold them all was installed. The highlight of the three days in the school was the spirit created among the boys and our young musicians. Only the photos can tell the story.