By: Elisabeth Ashe.
As John F Kennedy once said, “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”
Kids, both rich and poor, benefit from the study of art and music. And, Elvis Rose, aka Aikeke, is dedicated to teaching to developing one of the most important music and art schools in Latin America – right here in Zihuatanejo known as the Escuela de Musica y Artes de Zihuatanejo (EMAZ).
Elvis “Aikeke” Rose is developing a music and art school in Zihuatanejo for children in the area.
Aikeke, who began playing professionally at just 11 years of age, credits his years in the Military playing with the military band as the best musical training he could have ever received. From there he was a graduate of the prestigious Military School of Music in Virginia with an emphasis on theory and technical proficiency. In New York, as a studio musician, he played with some of the greatest musicians of the time – names like Ellsworth (Shake) Keane, Rueben Blades and Roland Prince to name a few. His touring band, known as the Equitables, played the USA, across Canada and into Mexico.
Aikeke and others have managed to obtain a beautiful piece of property in Zihuatanejo from the government and are now working on plans for the design of the school. It has taken many years to get even this far, and although discouraging at times, Aikeke believes it is imperative that the school be built in Zihuatanejo. His dreams include International teachers versed in ballet, jazz, and folkloric dance, with an eye to reviving “Huapanga” a form of cultural music and dance from Mexico back to the community. And of course, always there is the music- drums, guitar, brass, and woodwinds.
People ask Aikeke why he charges his students so little – a mere $200 pesos per month – to which he replies, “My job is not to teach rich children to play music. My job is to teach children who have talent.”
How You Can Help: The school receives little support from local organizations and counts on people to donate what they can towards badly needed instruments, sheet music, and music stands to name a few.
- Do you have an instrument you no longer play or need? Consider donating it to EMAZ and make a child’s wish come true.
- Or, consider sponsoring a child’s budding music career by paying for his/her classes approximately $150 per year.
- Or, offer a musical scholarship to help a promising student continue their musical education.
To make a donation, contact Aikeke by calling 755 550-3310. Visit the website at http://www.emazgromex.com/