TAMPA — The students at Bellamy Elementary School definitely have all that jazz.
Sure, they keep in touch with all the music that is popular today — Britney Spears, Katy Perry and the rest of the MTV gang — but they are being exposed to music that dates back nearly 100 years and the culture that came with it.
Most of the children don’t have jazz on their phones and iPods, but the music and the art has taken hold. The Bellamy students had a jazz-themed art and music show on Tuesday.
The students did art collages with a jazz theme and the school’s musicians played jazz.
They had fun with it, too, laughing about the famous jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton. Some even took their own jazz names.
Where once they were Chloe Davis, Yazmean Fedrick, Samuel Ortiz and Evelyn Pham, they went by “Butterscotch Jellybean,” “Waves,” Captain Jazz” and “Candy Hearts” for the night.
It’s been an ear-opening and an eye-opening experience for the Bellamy kids.
“We didn’t know a lot about jazz, but we wanted to mix it with art, so we got a lot of construction paper and learned how to mix it,” Yazmean said. “We made cutouts and came up with ideas. It was fun.”
Chloe said that working with different colors was the best part of the art project. She came up with the idea of twisting a person into a kind of Slinky to represent the mood of the jazz theme. She said they twisted lines and got into the jazz mood even though she wasn’t really familiar with the music.
The theme of the project was Gotta Be Jazz. They made music, including a jazz version of “My Favorite Things,” from “The Sound of Music.”
“It was fun learning about different cultures and different time periods,” Evelyn said. “We learned that jazz got its roots from songs that slaves used to sing. It was interesting and I like that music now.”
Chloe, who was chosen to represent Bellamy at a Hillsborough County art festival, said her dad has a jazz record that she likes to listen to every day. She said she listens to the music and thinks about what colors would go along with it and that gave her ideas for her artwork.
“It’s all about visualizing,” Chloe said. “In the 1920s, it was the jazz age and we learned about that. It made us think about those times.”
Samuel said he gained a real appreciation for the jazz age.
“It’s all about bringing cultures together,” he said. “Everybody can understand it and it sounds really great.”