"To me, there is nothing more important that I do as a blues performer than blues education! Blues is a uniquely American music that along with gospel and jazz is one of America’s most precious gifts to the world. Blues is the musical foundation for all forms of pop music with its influence spanning seven generations.
Children in schools throughout the globe learn about their culture’s artistic heritage and creative achievements. American children deserve to know about their culture’s rich musical heritage that is the Blues and how the world has embraced it as a creative art form.
I am blessed to have had so many opportunities to work with young and old across the country as we educate each other about what it is that makes us love the blues". - Tas Cru
PROGRAMS & WORKSHOPS for SCHOOLS
30 to 45 minute assembly or classroom program. Songs, instrument demos, history/blues today, Q&A Customized for age of audience – RULE OF THUMB- the younger they are the more active participation.
PreK –3 “Even Bugs Sing the Blues” – Eric Carle books (e.g., The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, and others) rewritten as blues songs.
Grades 4- 6 “I Wrote a Blues Song!” – Blues lyric form as derived from call and response (AAB pattern) is introduced. Students learn to appreciate the concise power and imagery of Blues poetry as they write, sing and record their own songs.
Grades 7-12 "We Are the Blues” – History and culture come alive with Blues songs – soundtrack of historical, political, social and economic events.
General Music – Programs are custom made in collaboration with teaching staff to fit the age level and curriculum goals
Performance Ensembles - Customized in collaboration with teaching staff. Workshops on theory, legendary performers, history and links to other genres. Students explore styles and techniques and perform blues standards and improvised jamming (vocals & instruments).
Distance Learning Classes
PROGRAMS & WORKSHOPS for FESTIVALS & COMMUNITY EVENTS
This has included Hospitals, Senior Assisted Living Centers, Community Centers, VA Homes and more!
Kid and Family Performances
Sing, Dance Laugh to family-friendly songs such as “My Dog” (a rewrite of Little Walter’s classic “My Babe” ) and Willie Dixon’s “Mellow Down Easy.” Tas Cru originals from his blues for kids CD, “Even Bugs Sing the Blues” are sprinkled in as determined by the age of participants.
For Teens and Adults
Blues 101 - Songs, instrument demos, history/blues today, Q&A
Meet the Artist Tas Cru - A chance to chat up close and personal with Tas to talk about and share with each other the music we love and maybe swap a few road stories.
Build Yourself a Diddley Bow – A big hit at festivals, participants assemble and learn how to play the one stringed traditional Bow.
Slide Guitar Workshop – Demos and discussions about all things SLIDE – tunings, cigar boxes, resonators, slide materials and technique
Songwriting Seminar – What does it take to write a good blues song? Demo and discussion on the creative process – inspiration, lyrics, arrangements, feels, hooks and more!
BLUES CD FOR KIDS
"EVEN BUGS SING THE BLUES!"
10 Originals songs (rewrites) of the famous bug books of children's author ERIC CARLE.
These stories are retold when critters like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the
Grouchy Ladybug get the lowdown blues!
Recorded in 2008 with a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and support
from the New York State Reading Council these CD's are provided to schools and
programs where Tas Cru performs in order to help advance children's literacy.
You can now purchase these CDs.
Love dogs? Love blues? This is the album for you! Fun songs for kids and dog lovers that prove dogs do indeed get the blues.
Do dogs get the blues? How do we know? What gives them the blues?
Dogs are simply some of the finest people I know. They are always willing to listen, give comfort and best of all, keep our secrets! The older I get, the less I (Tas Cru) worry about what people think. But I do care what dogs think of me! As I have often said, I am blessed that dogs and kids seem to like me (other adults . . . well? . . . I do try.)
So, with this album I get to do something to return their love - an album about dogs, for kids (of all ages) and I get to play the blues doing it – how great is that?