Every day is a Mardi Gras party with Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards, the first and only New Orleans jazz band just for kids. Check out sensory-friendly fun April 23 at 4 p.m. at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.
Use your imagination as you are transported aboard the Queen Helene riverboat cruise and discover Jazzy Ash’s home of New Orleans, exploring the playful sounds of early New Orleans jazz, zydeco, be-bop and swing. Jazzy Ash shows are crafted to be approachable for young ears, featuring original songs from Jazzy’s four family albums, and traditional jazz favorites you’ll be humming for weeks to come.
$1 from every ticket sold will be donated to POAC Autism Services.
With guidance from POAC Autism Services and several area performing arts organizations already presenting programs for children on the spectrum, the Basie will transform itself into a safe, judgement-free and sensory-friendly environment for these performances. Patrons and their children will be permitted to bring in favorite snacks, iPads and other objects of affinity, while house lights will remain bright enough for children to know where they are, and sudden or shrill sounds will be eliminated from the performance. A quiet room with “fidgets” and coloring pages / crayons will also be available to families.
Basie event staffers have also received training and guidance from POAC to ensure its sensory-friendly programs are just that: friendly.
Prior To The Performance:
A downloadable PDF and video for parents will be made available, detailing the sights and procedures guests will experience as they visit the Basie for this unique performance. In addition, the Basie will hold two “Meet Your Seat” events in the weeks prior to these events, so that families may visit the theatre while it’s empty to allow children the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the space.
These events would not be possible without the support the Basie received during its live “Giving Tuesday” broadcast on 94.3 The Point. On that day, the Grunin Family Foundation matched donations dollar-for-dollar, all in the name of funding our sensory-friendly efforts. In addition, $2 from every ticket sold on that day was donated back to POAC to support that organization’s mission
“Exposing children to the arts is vital to their growth in so many ways and this is no different for children with autism,” says POAC founder Gary Weitzen. “However, parents of children with special needs are often hesitant to bring their kids to performances for a whole host of reasons from sensory issues to concern about the reaction of other theater goers to their children.”
“By providing this autism and sensory friendly performance, the Basie is not only making theater more accessible, they are giving all of our children the gift of the arts. We can’t thank them enough.”