Giant steps with Jimmy Heath

When he is not playing with fellow Jazz legends or writing his memoirs, I Walked With Giants author and NEA Jazz Master  Jimmy Heath likes to share his joy for music with future giants.


Mick Gusinde-Duffy, an acquisitions editor learned this fact first-hand from his own children. At dinner one night, he announced that Temple University Press would be publishing Jimmy Heath’s autobiography, half-expecting blank expressions. But his two high schoolers were impressed, “Oh he’s really cool. He visited our school and a few of the other students jammed with him.”

Back in the Spring of 2009, Jimmy did indeed visit students at the Center for Performing and Fine Arts in West Chester, PA, a division of the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School (or PALCS). As he does at countless schools across the country, Jimmy shared stories from his career, played some tunes with other visiting musicians, and then invited some of the braver students to step up and play with him. Among the student group was Bryce Milano on mandolin. (Pictured here with Heath).

PALCS is a free public charter “cyber” school where students from across Pennsylvania take their lessons from home online. The Center for Performing and Fine Arts (CPFA) is an adjunct, audition-only program component to the cyber charter school that allows students to explore a well rounded arts education. Most of the CPFA students attend arts classes two days a week at a facility in West Chester, PA.

All Photos courtesy of Jason Curtis


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