The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit education organization, was founded in 1986 by the Monk family and the late Maria Fisher, an opera singer and lifelong devotee of music. Its mission is to offer the world's most promising young musicians college-level training by America's jazz masters and to present public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world. The Institute’s main office is in Washington, DC, with satellite locations in Los Angeles and New Orleans, and all of its programs are offered free of charge to the students and schools. “BeBop to Hip-Hop” is one of several outreach programs run by the Los Angeles office. Created in 2005 and sponsored by Stanton, the program has been held at Washington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles for the past five years. Recently, another school, Manual Arts High, was added.
Each year, twenty-five students are selected to study with professional jazz musicians and hip-hop producers and performers such as DJ Spark (T-Pain), DJ Khalil (Jay-Z), Dontae Winslow (Jill Scott, Mary, Mary), and Bryan Lipps (Michael Buble). Topics covered in the program include jazz and hip-hop history, lyric writing, music and beat production, turntables (scratching and beat matching), and songwriting. At the end of the program, students produce original tracks with guidance by instructors.
As a sponsor, Stanton has endowed the program with a selection of its best gear, including STR8-150 Super-High-Torque Digital Turntables, M.203 Mixers, SA.3 Scratch Mixers, SM.v3 club/scratch cartridges, and DJ Pro 2000 headphones.
“The Stanton products have been a great asset to the program,” raved Daniel Seeff, West Coast Director for the Institute. “All of our students are young high school musicians with a variety of artistic backgrounds. Having the ability to learn the various skills needed to be a DJ—including beat-matching and scratching—and taught by top DJs on the best gear available, has been incredible.”
The program culminates annually with a concert featuring iconic guests such as Herbie Hancock, Doug E Fresh, Terence Blanchard, Chali 2na, and Bobby Watson. This year’s concert on June 7th at Manual Arts High will include trumpeter Roy Hargrove and hip-hop artist Supernatural, with Stanton gear used pervasively throughout the performance!
In 2002, Rob Principe and the late Jam Master Jay founded Scratch DJ Academy with the goal of lowering the barrier of entry to the art form of the DJ. Scratch's historic first semester received media attention worldwide with instructors including Jam Master Jay, DJ Premier, A-trak, Evil Dee, and many more. Scratch DJ Academy went on to sell out every semester during its first year and eventually moved to a permanent location in the West Village (where it is located today).
Over the next few years, Scratch opened additional locations in Los Angeles (2004) and Miami (2005), and expanded its course offering to include music production. Today, Scratch's teaches over 100,000 people how to DJ annually through its physical locations and national tours. Scratch has taught students from all 50 states, 35 different countries, and is widely recognized as the world leader in DJ and music production education.