Community Arts Partner

Participant Details

Community Arts Partner Name
Jah Breeze Rhythms
Partner Type
Profile Photo
Individual Bio or
Organizational Statement
Jah Breeze Rhythms is a culturally community based arts partnership whose mission is to make art in the category of music education accessible, culturally relevant, and fun. My goal is to provide mentorship and build students’ self-esteem by recognizing the creative difference that each child shares within the community of music makers. In addition to confidence building, other skills students will develop are collaboration, teamwork, critical thinking, communication, perseverance, and leadership. These skills and knowledge are fostered by the music and as well as the mentorship which will translate into their success in school, society and life. For over 25 years I have been serving as a teaching artist in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, I direct several youth steel pan ensembles, including the Rainbow Girls Trio. I also direct the African Drum and Dance Ensemble at Rainier Beach High School. In 2002, I was awarded a certificate for 5 years service to education by the Seattle Community Colleges District. I also served on the Board of Directors for Arts Corps and continue to serve as a master teaching artist. I have served as an Artist-in-Residence at South Shore School, Islandwood School, Centrum Education, Power of Hope/Whidbey Institute, and Nature Consortium.

Contact Information

First Name
Last Name
4616 25th Avenue NE #303
Address 2

Grade Levels Preferred

Grade Levels Preferred
K-2, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th

Artistic Disciplines

  • African Drumming
  • African Dance and Choreography
  • Steel Pans
  • Guitar
  • Folk Style Percussion
  • Folk Style Vocals
  • African Storytelling
  • Theater/Drama
  • Spoken Word/Poetry
  • Music Composition and Arrangement
  • Public Speaking and Music Performance
Dance, Music


Previous School Partnerships
Other Trainings or Certifications
Sample Lesson Description: Student / Classroom Residencies
Sample Workshop Description: Teacher Professional Development

Areas of Experience and Expertise

Approved Professional Development Provider
Approved Classroom Residency Provider
Experience with English Language Learners
Experience with Students in Special Education

Lesson Plan

Integrated Art
Cultural Art

Teaching Approach

Teaching Philosophy + Approach
The primary mission of Jah Breeze Rhythms is to foster a “can do” attitude amongst my students. I encourage students to use critical thinking and analytical skills to create original music. I teach by example and serve as a role model for students. As a teaching artist, I use music as a tool to teach social studies and history, as well as, other subjects like math, science and environmental studies. I believe that integrating a holistic approach to music education and learning can build confidence and self-esteem in students, which is a prerequisite to learning all subjects.
Curriculum Integration Possibilities
I use the drum to talk about history and the immigrant experience of students’ ancestors. We discuss Africa and its geographical location. We then identify the countries the drums are from and the rituals that are included in the making of a drum. I also use the drum as a way to talk about culture and origin stories. This gives students an opportunity to share their family history and origin. I introduce the conversation by talking about my own immigrant experience and ask students to identify their ethnic origin to foster a sense of pride in their heritage. This encourages a conversation about tolerance, diversity and acceptance because we all come from a common ancestor in Africa. During my artist in residence at Islandwood School on Bainbridge Island, I created curriculum intersecting the arts and the environment. We talked about the various environmental elements that make up the drum, like the tree trunk as the base of the drum. This discussion also gives me an opportunity to talk about deforestation, global warming, and old growth forests. We identify various sounds that the many creatures and animals are making in the surrounding forestry area and connect that to music.
Special Skills and Areas of Expertise
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Coordinating performances for culminating events and school assemblies
Testimonials from Schools
  • Erie Jones, Classroom Music Teacher, South Shore School, jonesack@earthlink
  • Jessica Henderson, Arts Coordinator, IslandWood School, 206.855.4300,




Image Description
South Shore Girls Steel Pan Ensemble
Image Description
Rainbow Girls Trio
Image Description
Jah Breeze and students performing at Northwest World Reggae Festival, 2012
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Jah Breeze teaching steel drums at Camp Baraka (Auburn, WA)
Image Description
Jah Breeze and his drum teacher, Master Drummer and African Griot the Late Babatunde Olatunji


Video Description
Greenbelt Drumming Workshop presented by Jah Breeze in collaboration with Nature Consortium. As part of the Duwamish Greenbelt Conservation Project in West Seattle, Nature Consortium teaches youth eco-responsibility through working to clean the Duwamish&a
Video Description
Witness hands-on arts education in progress, as Seattle's South Shore Girls Steel Pan Ensemble, directed by Jah Breeze, prepare for their exclusive performance for the City of Tacoma's Official 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.
Video Description
Jah Breeze & The South Shore Boys Pan Ensemble Live at Northwest World Reggae Festival 2012...Brought to you by Oregon's Only Organics in Beautiful Marcola, OR. Filmed by Kaleidoscope Film Productions(NWReggaeVideos-YouTube)