Rent Party Jazz William Miller & Charlotte Riley-Webb Lee & Low Books ISBN: 1584300256
Until about fifteen years ago someone looking for children's books about music could find little other than barnyard animals playing instruments or Instruments of the Orchestra-type books. Since then children's literature has undergone an exciting change, including jazz themes. Biographies of jazz artists for "young audiences" have appeared. Younger children have learned about Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and others from picture books. Now, in Rent Party Jazz, award-winning children's author William Miller has brought us not the story of a jazz icon but a tale of jazz saving the day in the lives of ordinary people.
In 1930's New Orleans, young Sonny's mother has just been laid off at the fish cannery. Already working part-time on a coal wagon while attending school, Sonny is determined to do more to help his mother fend off eviction. Enter street performer/trumpet man Smilin' Jack, who sells Sonny on the idea of a "rent party", contributing "the best music in the world". Needless to say, the pair triumphs, while the neighbors have a ball in the process.
Imparting the dynamism and transformative power of jazz onto the printed page is no easy matter. Miller has managed to pull it off, greatly aided by the bold colors and vibrancy of Charlotte Riley-Webb's illustrations.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.