Through the vehicle of jazz, I Have A Song Inside My Heart's™ goal is to help young audiences identify their personal truth, embrace their unique and beautiful individuality, and become empowered in self expression.
Jazz is an American art form built from expression. Its deep roots are cultivated from the work songs and Negro spirituals sung by enslaved Africans brought to the United States. The songs are soulful testimonies of the trials and tribulations experienced by those forced to live and work on the plantations and cotton fields. These songs birthed the Blues. The Blues became and is the ultimate and intimate song of self expression. The Blues is the rich foundation and vital thread in the tapestry of jazz.
In jazz, musicians come together to create one voice. It's where community is built and communication is essential. It's where they come to swing.
In jazz, musicians improvise, tap into and express what is deep within their souls. Through their instruments, expression of feelings are articulated which could not otherwise be stated with words.
As educators, we see children so consumed with excitement to provide an answer or share something unique and special to them they can barely contain themselves - sometimes before the question is fully posed. We see them dance, create and sing from the top of their lungs even if they don't know the words. They are eager to make contributions simply because they are given a chance.
We also see those who have a difficult time sharing and contributing. Their ability to express is stifled and hindered. Their inner light is blocked and sometimes dimmed.
The same phenomenon occurs as they become adults. Some of us second guess ourselves or have become numbed by the pressures of life. Some of us have been swept into the riptide of comparison. Our ideas seem unimportant, not “cool”, intelligent or creative enough. We question the validity and value of our thoughts and experiences, then hesitate to speak out or make suggestions for fear of being labeled inept, annoying or trouble maker. Life happens and we lose our song.
I Have A Song Inside My Heart™, (based on the children's book Theodore and Hazel and The Bird) was developed with the belief that everyone has a voice, a song yearning to be expressed. Our feelings, our ideas, our experiences are unique and uniquely ours. Through the music and basic concepts of jazz, we believe we can help tap into our songs, the well of our hearts and souls, our authentic selves.
And if we listen carefully, we'll see that our songs "... are beautiful, they're amazing, as they're meant to be ...” - The Bird' Song, by Riza Printup
RIZA PRINTUP (jazz harpist, composer and arranger), has always had a special place in her heart for education. In addition to performing and/or recording with notables (such as husband Marcus Printup, Paquito D'Rivera, Kenny Werner, the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra and Kathleen Battle), she continues to work with children (PreK and up). Ms. Printup held the position of Director of Early Childhood Music and Orchestra at The Greater Atlanta Christian School and Director of strings at the Cicely Tyson School of Performing Arts. Her passion for education has taken her to author her and her husband's first children's book, Theodore and Hazel and the Bird, released April of 2016.
Ms. Printup pursued her undergraduate studies at the Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington, IN under the instruction of Distinguished Professor of Harp, Susan McDonald. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Music from Columbia College, Chicago, IL where she continued exploring studies in Jazz. She pursued her Master of Music from Georgia State University's School of Music under the tutelage of Elisabeth Remy Johnson. Other instructors include Dominique Piana, Linda Wood, Beverly Wesner-Hoehn, Deborah Henson-Conant, Stella Castellucci and Distinguished Professor of Jazz, David Baker.
She has transcribed several originals of Dorothy Ashby (Jazz Harpist Extraordinaire) and had the fortune of performing some of Ms. Ashby's music with the incomparable late Frank Wess who was featured on Ms. Ashby's 1957 and 1958 recordings.
She continues to work as an educator with the early childhood program at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
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MARCUS PRINTUP is an acclaimed jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger and highly sought out educator.
Born and raised in Conyers, Georgia, his first musical experiences came from hearing the fiery gospel music his parents sang in church. He would later discover jazz as a senior in high school.
Marcus attended Georgia State University, then transferred to the University of North Florida on a music scholarship. It was during his studies at UNF that he competed and won the prestigious International Trumpet Guild Jazz Trumpet Competition.
In 1991, Mr. Printup's life would change when he met his mentor and friend-to-be, the incomparable pianist Marcus Roberts. Mr. Roberts introduced him to world renowned trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis which led to the invitation to join the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra in 1993. Marcus has been a member ever since.
Mr. Printup has performed and/or recorded with Betty Carter (he was inducted into Ms. Carter's inagrual Jazz Ahead class in 1993), Dianne Reeves, Eric Reed, Cyrus Chestnut, Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Roberts among many others.
Mr. Printup has led multiple recordings as the featured artist on several major record labels:
Nagel Heyer Records: The New Boogaloo
Mr. Printup continues to be in demand as a facilitator/educator for masterclasses and clinics ranging from Middle and High Schools to Universities nationally and abroad. He is an educator for Jazz @ Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington competition and an adjunct faculty member at the New School in Manhattan.
In 2005, a proclamation was granted to Mr. Printup declaring August 22nd Marcus Printup Day in his home town of Conyers, GA.
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Together, the Printups created RiMarcable Publications through which they have published arrangements for big band and jazz combo along with their children's book. They also released their first jazz single for children, The Bird’s Song.