The passion for music goes well beyond the stage. From developing elementary school bands to cultivating university music students, Orbert Davis has been striving to get more music into more schools. With music programs like DMDL, Inc. and the CJP Education initiative, Orbert has managed to get his plan into motion.

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic JazzAlive Strings program at Victor Herbert Elementary School in Chicago.


The Path & The Plan

Discover Music Discover Life

dmdl-thumb    Discover Music: Discover Life, Inc. (formerly known as MusicAlive!) was formed in 2000 by Orbert Davis and Mark Ingram. They have spent the majority of their professional careers as artists and mentors. Their concern about the quality and effectiveness of arts education for young people was the inspiration for DMDL’s curriculum design. Their goal is to insure that high-quality, standards based arts programming is available for all students, especially those least likely to have access to the arts.

Davis’ and Ingram’s mission is to enhance student academic achievement and life skills through supportive mentoring, and by developing and implementing standards-based curricula. Their unique methods are presented from a perspective that if you meet students where they are culturally, socially and emotionally — powerful connections can be made academically.

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

cjp-thumb    Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP) has found success in using music as the vehicle for strengthening core academic areas while introducing and reinforcing life skills. CJP contains a wealth of resources from its pool of musicians and other Arts professionals who serve as mentors/instructors in its programming. In addition, CJP houses a variety of performing groups for all-school Arts Education assemblies that cover a variety of musical genres and topics. As a collective, CJP’s “MusicAlive!” initiative is one of the most comprehensive – reaching students from all ages, beginning at early childhood through young adulthood.

The University of Illinois at Chicago

uic-thumb    Orbert Davis is a Clinical Associate Professor in UIC’s Department of Theatre and Music at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic/University of Illinois at Chicago Jazz Academy is a 2-week summer program teaching jazz instruments, performance, and knowledge for children grades 5–12. The Jazz Academy mentors students to help develop life skills and prepare for college. Sponsored by UIC, the Jazz Academy builds on CJP’s JazzAlive school-year program that works to build sustainable music and band programs in Chicago schools. Students participate in individual, small and large class groups and in ensembles such as Jazz Band, Drumline, and Hand Chimes. Additional courses offered range from Instrument Technique to Jazz Aesthetics in addition to college information including financial aid.

Located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago, the full-day camp opens up new opportunities for participants.