By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — World renowned jazz vocalist Al Jarreau today taught a master class to students from three Philadelphia-area performing arts schools.

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Jarreau, a Grammy award-winner, conducted the master class — his first ever — as part of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts‘ three-day “Artist N Residency” program, which has also attracted other top jazz artists including Branford Marsalis, Ori Cane, and Terence Blanchard.

At the Clef Club of Jazz, on South Broad Street at Fitzwater, Jarreau sang a little and listened a lot.

“I’m loving it.  I’m loving it,” said Jarreau.   “There’s some good singing going on here.”

While training some voices he shared his love of music, along with a few life lessons.

“They’re turning sound into gold and into joy — this is alchemy,” Jarreau noted.

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Vocal students were selected from Girard Academic Music Program, String Theory Performing Arts Charter School, and the Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy, in Camden.

“The important thing is that they keep the music in their lives even though they may not have a music career,” says Jarreau. “It’s because music changes them and makes them joyous people.”

“I didn’t know I had it in me,” said Crystal Cosme, 17, a senior at Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy, after singing for Jarreau.  “All of my heart just poured out.”

She says he stopped her after the performance.  “He told me to keep going (and said) I have good control, so it made me feel great.”

Cosme and the other students will put their practice to the test when they take the Clef Club stage tomorrow, with the legend himself.


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