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Jake Glavis - Marin County Musician Brings Jazz to the Neighborhoods

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Fairfax musician Mario Guarneri has been playing jazz since he began his teens. At 13 years-old, he sat in on trumpet with the great Louis Armstrong during a concert at the University of California at Berkeley. Now 71, Guarneri has made jazz his living and his lifelong passion. He has travelled the world playing with orchestras and quintets, playing on film soundtracks, and teaching others his craft as a music teacher at the San Francisco. But for all his experiences, that one life-altering day playing alongside Armstrong made all the difference.
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  • 1. Marin County Musician Brings Jazz To The Neighborhoods
  • 2. Fairfax musician Mario Guarneri has been playing jazz since he began his teens. At 13 years-old, he sat in on trumpet with the great Louis Armstrong during a concert at the University of California at Berkeley. Now 71, Guarneri has made jazz his living and his lifelong passion. He has travelled the world playing with orchestras and quintets, playing on film soundtracks, and teaching others his craft as a music teacher at the San Francisco. But for all his experiences, that one life-altering day playing alongside Armstrong made all the difference.
  • 3. Now, as the Marin Independent Journal reports, Guarneri is trying to give that same type of experience to a new generation of musicians and music lovers through his nonprofit, Jazz in the Neighborhood. The nonprofit looks to pair fledgling musicians with experienced professionals so that they have the opportunity to “learn on the bandstand.” It is a time-honored tradition in jazz that Guarneri had with Satchmo, and his wishes to pass on to young people today.
  • 4. Jazz in the Neighborhood is about education, but it is also about awareness. While the artform of Jazz is still being highlighted in the area by big events such as SFJAZZ, the community-based side of the music is being pushed out by gentrification. Local clubs, like Jazz at Pearls, are being forced to close their doors due to rising rents, and Bay Area and nearby Marin County have few places to play. "SFJAZZ attracts name musicians from outside the Bay Area," Guarneri says. "They seldom involve local musicians, who have very few opportunities to perform in the Bay Area." This cuts into the opportunities for musicians to play and make a living. That is why in the 35 Jazz in the Neighborhood events that have been held over the past few years, the organization has been been able to solicit donations on behalf of local
  • 5. musicians to the tune of $20,000. While he knows that it is not enough to pay most musician’s bills, it is a start.
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