The group, Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants, offers coaching experiences for student ensembles and interactive concert experiences through music, movement, and call and response. Participants in the workshops will gain an enriched experience in Jazz music and self-expression. During performances, students will get a deeper understanding of Jazz and Contemporary music by not only listening, but also through their interaction with the band. Alvin Atkinson, Jr. (drums), has balanced a career as a performer and an educator for over 20 years, playing alongside artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Houston Person, Frank Wess, Wycliffe Gordon, and Vanessa Rubin among others. Selected 5 times as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador, Atkinson participated in U.S. State Department tours of Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia. As an educator, he has worked with middle school students through Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy, Jazz for Young People series, and the Bronx Academy. Atkinson has served as Drummer on the Food Network's cooking show, Emeril Live as well as faculty at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City and the University of Manitoba as an Artist-In-Residence. Grades K – 12.