A Transformative Experience: Crossroads School Plays Panama Jazz Festival and Visits the MamonĂ­ Valley Preserve

By Pierre Lemerchand 20 January, 2011

Image of Crossroads Student

Jazz students from the Crossroads School in Santa Monica jumped off rocky outcrops into river pools, hiked nature trails under jungle cover and improvised riffs on Nature's raw instruments to the beats and trills of the Mamoní Valley Preserve tropical campus.

"The Panama experience was probably the most impactful, memorable, and unique field trip that Crossroads has done since its founding in 1971," Crossroads musical director Evan Avery said.

The journey began in Panama City with an Earth Train sunset rooftop reception for Earth Train supporters and community members with special performances by the Crossroads students and the Children's Chorus of Kuna Yala. Before heading off to the Preserve, Crossroads also jammed with young musicians from the Fundacion Danilo Perez and kicked off a day of Panama Jazz Festival music in front of a packed Plaza Catedral in Casco Viejo, Panama's historic district.

Avery says the Crossroads School came away from the transformative experience committed to developing a permanent relationship with Earth Train and the Mamoni Valley Preserve.

Special thanks to Earth Train's Chris Del Vecchio and Crossroads students Natanyel Levin, Adam Goldman, Henry Wass, Nick Jared, Cameron Lazar, Julian Black, Phillip Golub, Cam Johnson and teachers Shea Welsh and Evan Avery.

See you next year!

Click here to see a slideshow of Crossroads visit.

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