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April will begin full swing at the Rockford Public Library

Chris Bair - unsplash.com

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and one northern Illinois library is giving the community the opportunity to jazz up their skills and knowledge for this music genre.

The Rockford Public Library is offering six jazz workshops in April. Colby Mumper is a librarian assistant at the library. She said this is the first time the establishment is doing something big for jazz appreciation.

“It's been like little displays here and there,” she said. “But as far as a huge workshop, this is the first time the library has offered something. And that is because I have a bachelor’s in jazz studies.”

Mumper joined the library staff in December of last year and said her knowledge helped her create the workshops.

Mumper said although each session has a limit of 10 people, she’s planning for the best- and worst-case scenarios.

“I am fully prepared for zero to 20 musicians. I am prepared for no one to want to perform,” she said, “because anxiety. And that's something that I really want to hone in on (in) this workshop is that anxiety is okay, I want the bad notes, I want the bad rhythms.”

Each session focuses on different types of jazz. These are blues and New Orleans jazz, swing bands, bebop, cool jazz, free jazz, and modern jazz.

Session information can be found on the events page at the library’s website. Registration is required.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.