Nearly 2,000 local elementary school students will have a unique cultural experience Wednesday morning, March 19, when Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra present a “Jazz for Young People” program at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara.

The 15 members of the orchestra are some of today’s finest jazz soloists and ensemble players. Their program — “What is a Big Band?” — will focus on Swing Era music and its famous composers and bandleaders from the 1930s and 1940s.

The Children’s Creative Project (CCP), an arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, is presenting the free event.

The concert is co-sponsored with the Metropolitan Theatres Corporation and made possible by grants from UCSB Arts & Lectures; Yardi; Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Education Outreach; and The Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts, which is a field-of-interest fund of the Santa Barbara Foundation.

Since 1981-82, the CCP has provided free performances annually by world-renowned artists at the Santa Barbara Bowl and Arlington Theatre. Last year the CCP presented the African Children’s Choir from Uganda, and in January presented the Lula Washington Dance Theatre, a 10-member African-American modern dance company from Los Angeles. Both performances, also supported by the sponsors above, were presented for 4,000 elementary students at the Arlington Theatre.

This performance is part of the CCP’s larger arts education program that provides visual and performing arts workshops by resident professional artists for 25,000 students annually in 61 elementary schools. In addition, the CCP sponsors more than 500 performances per year for 50,000 students in more than 113 schools throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

The free performances are also funded in part by the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival, which is produced by the Chil


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