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About Us

Building Bridges with Music promotes open-mindedness and respect through storytelling and the universal language of music

OUR STORY

In the mid 1990s, Bridges founder Jeff Haas was working on a commissioned project with a group of Detroit musicians featuring legendary trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, saxman Rob Smith, bassist Chuck Hall and drummer Alex Trajano and they needed a place to rehearse Jeff's new, original music. 

Due to budget cuts, music programs in many Detroit public schools were eliminated. It occurred to Jeff that public schools in the Detroit area might be receptive to hosting rehearsals that were open for the students to observe.

Jeff approached three inner-city schools he attended in his youth and the school community was very receptive to the idea of hosting Jeff and his colleagues. As the project evolved over the next four months, so did the interaction with the students.

The students loved the opportunity to enjoy the energy and excitement of live music. During the breaks, students gathered around the bandstand and had questions for the musicians, not about the music but how they met, did they get along with one another, did they like the same kind of music. The students were reacting to the multicultural makeup of the band, and so it began that the seeds for Building Bridges with Music started to take root and grow.

OUR WORK

"Every thought we have, every word we utter, every action we take is either based in LOVE or FEAR." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Music is a universal force that opens hearts and minds and brings people together. Founder Jeff Haas and his multi-cultural quintet use Jeff's original music--a blend of jazz, R&B, classical and ethnic music, along with compelling personal stories to build connection and promote open-mindedness and respect. 

Our workshops ask everyone to examine their own personal thoughts, words, and opinions about people, especially those we perceive to be different than ourselves. Changing our preconceptions and attitudes begins with self awareness followed by a lot of practice, practice, practice, and of course, love. 

Meet our cool cats!

Jeff Haas

Founder, Creative Director

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Madelynn Brady

Program Manager

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Kristin Spangler

Operations Manager

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Jeff Haas

Composer, pianist

Marion Hayden

Double bass

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Laurie Sears

Saxophones & flute

Anthony Stanco

Trumpet

Tariq Gardner

Drums

Building Bridges with Music is a 501.c.3 nonprofit. Tax ID 80-0476228       

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