Alaska Airlines surprises Morgan State and South Texas music students with trip to jazz festival
Alaska Airlines surprised a group of students from two HBCUs with a trip to the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California.
The airline flew about 40 choir and jazz students from Morgan State University and Texas Southern University to the event.
Jazz ensembles from both schools were invited to perform at the jazz festival, and the airline took the lead in covering the costs.
General Manager of Public Affairs for Alaska Airlines in California david tucker said the airline wanted to remove all barriers preventing students from attending the event.
“When we learned how much it would cost to transport students to the Monterey Jazz Festival, there was no doubt in our minds that we wanted to make sure there were no barriers to attending one of the best music festivals on the west coast,” Tucker said. . “We want this experience to be the start of many firsts, with stories that will be shared for years to come.”
Both groups of students gave impromptu performances during the trip. After stewardess and recording artist Lauren Brown started singing “I Know I’ve Been Changed” on board the flight full of students from MSU’s choir and jazz ensemble, the students joined her.
Before their flight from Houston to Monterey, the TSU students blessed guests at the airport with a live performance of “This Is Me” by The greatest showman.
Braylan Walker, a jazz performance specialist at TSU, said he was grateful for the opportunity to attend the Monterey Jazz Festival.
“For many of us, this is our first time to a major jazz festival,” Walker said. “Some people have never flown or could never have afforded one. I’m one of those people. I’m super grateful.
Other artists who performed at the event included Ravi Coltrane, Gregory Porter, Chucho Valdesand Terrie Odabi. The Monterey Jazz Festival runs from September 23-25.