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Holding the Torch for Liberty is our second title from The Jazz Drama Program.
Holding the Torch for Liberty tells the story of the culmination of the women's suffrage movement in the United States, circa 1920. Through ragtime, classic blues, New Orleans and Cuban infused original music, Holding the Torch for Liberty traces how courageous working women joined forces to fight for and win final passage of the 19th Amendment. Combining actual historical events with magical realism, the Statue of Liberty comes to life, goes dancing in a Harlem nightclub, and later meets a determined group of suffragists, Ms. Liberty's torch becomes a window to the future, as the roles for women in the country grow - women doctors, lawyers, engineers and even the president. With the country openly divided, a lone congressman from Tennessee gets and inspirational letter from his mother reminding him that standing up for justice and doing what is right comes easily when you follow your heart.
The Jazz Drama Program creates original jazz musicals for young people to perform for their peers. It was founded in 2003 as a non-profit arts organization in New York City by jazz musician Eli Yamin, and teacher Clifford Carlson to advance the appreciation of jazz and musical theatre among youth.
Jazz Drama Program musicals reflect the many styles of jazz.The original music is evocative of the sound and spirit of great jazz masters like John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, Mary Lou Williams, Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Although Jazz Drama Program musicals are written for Middle School students to perform, they have been performed by both younger and older students. Each musical features a large cast (30+ speaking roles), five ensemble musical numbers, a jazz underscore, and an accompaniment CD. The running time for each show will be about an hour.