Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards

A Sensory Friendly Performance

APRIL 23 • 4PM

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Tickets: $20 | Limit 8 tickets per billing address

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. 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.


What is Sensory-Friendly Programming?

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report showing 1 in 68 children nationally has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. New Jersey showed the highest rates in the report, with 1 in 45 on the spectrum, including 1 in 28 boys. According to the CDC, approximately 2% or more of New Jersey children from birth to 21 years of age currently experience Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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.”

Presented by Count Basie Theatre

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