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Hitting the High Notes with Jazz Trumpet

An Introduction to Jazz

Jazz developed in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Though considered an all-American art form, jazz was born out of the musical traditions of enslaved West Africans who were forced to work on plantations, and the cultural remnants of French and Spanish colonialism in the southern United States.

Join UMS artist facilitator and trumpeter Allen Dennard as he takes on a musical journey introducing us to the world of jazz. Get ready to improvise and have some FUN!

To learn more about the history of jazz and iconic jazz trumpeters that pushed the boundaries of this genre, explore the accompanying slides and worksheets.

Recommended Ages

Grades 3-6 (Ages 8-11)

Accompanying Presentation

View on Google Slides or download as a PDF

PDF Worksheets

Jazz Around the World
Interviewing Jazz Legends
Jazz Crossword
The Story You Hear

About the Artist

Allen DennardAllen Dennard is a trumpeter, composer, and bandleader who was born and raised in the city of Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 9, Allen decided to join his elementary school’s band, John Trix Elementary. From then on, he never put the trumpet down, finding a whole new passion for instrumental music.

In 5th grade, Allen was introduced to jazz, but his understanding and liking toward it were not yet found. Throughout middle school, Allen decided to stop playing jazz and took up classical music instead. Little did he know that in the near future, he’d come to find himself feeling restricted while playing classical music. Throughout high school, he still chose to play classically, but around the 10th grade, he decided to dive back into jazz and chose jazz as his musical style.

He began to study players such as Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Lee Morgan, and Roy Hargrove just to name a few. Around his senior year of high school, Allen had the privilege of being mentored by the great Marcus Belgrave, one of Detroit’s own legendary trumpeters. From then on Allen’s involvement in jazz increased exponentially.

Thank You to Our Supporters

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

The 2022/23 Season of Performance Playground is supported by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.