Community engagement is a cornerstone of the Jasper String Quartet's philosophy and they have delighted in performing more than 200 concert/conversations for diverse audiences across the country and world since their formation.
The Jaspers strongly believe every person can and should have the opportunity to understand and love great chamber music, no matter the age of the listener or the complexity of the piece. They believe the audience at Carnegie Hall and 3rd graders in Philadelphia Public Schools both deserve to experience world class live performances and the Jaspers approach each such event with equal intensity and enthusiasm.
The Quartet carefully considers how to present classical string quartet music, from Haydn and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Kernis, in a way that inspires an emotional connection with the music. Whether with musical examples, historical context, interactive games, or dance moves (see above video), the Jaspers impart their love for the music and their love for playing together.
Community Engagement Origins
In 2008, the Jaspers undertook "guerilla" chamber music performances as part of the Melba and Orville Roleffson Residency at the Banff Centre. Popping up in unusual settings around Alberta, Canada to perform and speak about string quartets inspired and illuminated the Jaspers to the universal power of great chamber music. Since then, the Quartet has thrived on introducing young and old new audiences to great chamber music, from Philadelphia to Japan.
In addition to their formal recitals, the Quartet performs numerous concert/conversations and residency activities each year. This season they look forward to residencies in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Rockport (MA), and St. Cloud (MN). They will also return to Arlington High School in Poughkeepsie, NY for their 6th year in a row for a 4 day residency generously funded by the Howland Chamber Music Circle.
At home, the Quartet works closely with Philadelphia's Astral Artists to bring first rate chamber music to schools. The Quartet is currently in its second of three years in Astral Artists' Colors of Classical Music, a project funded through a monumental grant from the William Penn Foundation that brings musicians into elementary school classrooms 18 times over 3 years.
To see the Jaspers in action, please watch the videos on this page.