Do men make passes at women who wear Google Glass?
The Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner famously observed: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” At this weekend’s music hackathon, my team, All That Philly Jazz, will bring Philadelphia’s jazz legacy to the present.
The Philly Jazz App will map historic places and markers, murals and local venues to hear live jazz.
Looking beyond the hackathon, we will go back to the future and augment reality along South Street, Ridge Avenue and 52nd Street. Back in the day, those corridors were jumping with jazz clubs where legends like John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald and B.B. King hung out. I’m already fantasizing about the Fantasy Lounge, which was located across the street from the studios of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records.
All That Philly Jazz is at the intersection of technology and art. The project can serve as a model for how art can be used to motivate underrepresented minorities to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). While jazz appeals to an older demographic, a project on, say, Philly’s or Brooklyn’s hip-hop legacy would resonate with young people who are disconnected from the innovation economy.
For more information, follow us on Twitter: @PhillyJazzApp.
Friday was proclaimed “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Day” by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. All citizens were urged to support the Foundation for the Advancement of Technology in Education (FATE).
FATE is changing the fate of underrepresented minorities by connecting the best STEM ideas to schools and students. And their ideas work. One of FATE’s students, Zora Ball, is the youngest computer programmer in the country.
At the First Anniversary FATE Bootstrap Expo, Philadelphia Deputy Mayor & Managing Director Richard Negrin gave keynote remarks.
Negrin said technology is key:
I love technology. I love innovation. But it’s not technology for technology’s sake. It’s empowering. It changes lives.
Negrin noted that 54 percent of Philly households do not have broadband Internet access at home. They live in “digital deserts” disconnected from the innovation economy and trapped in poverty:
Technology can break the cycle of poverty. Technology can empower all our children. It catapults their learning and thinking. That’s how we get out of this crisis in the education system.
Negrin observed that it is important to connect the dots on how STEM matters in students’ day-to-day lives. But we can’t show them what’s possible because no one knows what the future holds. Instead, we must show students the way, teach them the skills, and free their minds.
Today is UNESCO’s International Jazz Day, a celebration of an American art form that has united people around the world.
Istanbul will host a daylong series of events, culminating in the International Jazz Day Global Concert, which will be streamed live on YouTube starting at 2:00 p.m. ET. The concert will feature an all-star lineup, including Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Ramsey Lewis, Eddie Palmieri, Esperanza Spalding, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves, Joss Stone and Terence Blanchard.
Closer to home, Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy will host a lunchtime concert in the City Hall Courtyard. The concert will feature the world premiere of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. The orchestra is under the artistic direction of trumpeter Terell Stafford.
In an interview with Philadelphia City Paper, Stafford said:
The first premise is bringing folks together. Then it’s about representing the musical legacy of Philadelphia on the highest level possible because there’s some incredible musicians here and some incredible musicians who come from here.
Philadelphia is a very soulful, passionate city, and the music that comes from the city is the same. It has this unique attitude, and there’s an intellectual side and a spiritual side to it. There’s so much talent and so much music that comes this people and people need to hear it.
Hear, hear. At next month’s Music Hack Day, my team will develop a mobile app to tell the story of Philadelphia’s jazz legacy. We will map historic places such as the John Coltrane House, historic markers, the Walk of Fame and murals.