Rialto Jazz for Kids graduate is off to college
Jeffrey Cox, a senior at Grady High School and participant in the newly formed High School Rialto Jazz for Kids program, will be attending New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in the fall with a scholarship in jazz performance. Jeffrey says none of this would have happened without the Rialto Jazz for Kids program he participated in at Inman Middle School.
Jeffrey began playing the piano at age 5 encouraged by his mother who also played. In 3rd grade students were given the opportunity to participate in band. Jeffrey’s parents stipulated that he had to choose an instrument he could carry so he chose the trumpet. Just when Jeffrey was about to drop out of band because he “just wasn’t that into it,” Dr. Gordon Vernick entered his life through Rialto Jazz for Kids, a program that brings teaching artists into the schools once a month to teach a small group how to play jazz. By choosing to participate in this free early morning program, Jeffrey renewed his interest in music. At the time, Jeffrey was still playing the trumpet but was more interested in the piano and the guitar. However being around such an amazing trumpeter and teacher like Dr. Vernick, Jeffrey received direction not only in playing the trumpet but also in life. This experience set Jeffrey on a path involving jazz music. This not only allowed Jeffrey to connect with his talent but it introduced him to influential musicians, teachers, and some of his very best friends. Jeffrey, along with a few other Rialto Jazz for Kids alumni, regularly book gigs. The Jeffrey Cox Quintet recently played to a sold out crowd at the Velvet Note. Rialto Jazz for Kids has given him direction and opened doors. Jeffrey said that if it weren’t for Jazz for Kids “I would have had nothing to be passionate about and I doubt I would be going to music school.”