Promoting Open - Mindedness & Respect Through the Universal Language of Music

Jeff Hass 0012

Music has the Power to Bring People Together

Building Bridges with Music has conducted our innovative and award winning R-E-S-P-E-C-T! & Stop the Bullying! workshops featuring live music and compelling storytelling in over 700 public schools and community centers over the past two decades. In the new world of Covid-19, we are inspired to, once again, innovate and develop web content to address to root causes of bullying and disrespect using the captivating and engaging virtues of music to bring people together for open-minded solution-based conversations.

Who We Are

Building Bridges with Music is passionate about bringing live music and a powerful and engaging message promoting respect and understanding to people of all ages.

The universal language of music opens hearts and minds to our global message - EVERYONE DESERVES RESPECT!

Our dynamic musicians are very entertaining and represent a variety of cultures, generations and genders. We share very compelling personal stories about how bullying, disrespect and prejudice have affected our lives.

We know how it feels - bullying, disrespect and prejudice have no place in our world!

Children dancing to the jazz music from a band

What We Do

Founder Jeff Haas and his multi-cultural quintet use live music to engage people in a wide-ranging discussion about the importance of open-mindedness and respect.

Our programs are entertaining and fun and uniquely effective in addressing the root causes of bullying and prejudice in order to foster civility and respect in our schools, neighborhoods, workplaces and in our communities.

Jazz band performing live in a school gym for young students

Workshops at Schools, Community Centers & in
the Workplace

"Every thought we have, every word we utter, every action we take is either based in LOVE or FEAR." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bullying and disrespect is EVERYWHERE these days - in our schools, in our workplaces, in our neighborhoods & communities and in
our politics.

Our workshops ask everyone to examine our thoughts, words, and attitudes about people, especially people we perceive to be different than ourselves. Changing our preconceptions and attitudes begins with self awareness followed by a lot of practice.

We challenge everyone to start practicing in order to become UPSTANDERS and part of the solution, rather than BYSTANDERS and part of the problem.

Change requires self-awareness and a commitment to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

About Building Bridges with Music

Our Mission

Building Bridges with Music uses the universal language of music to foster open-mindedness, understanding and respect, thereby addressing the root causes of bullying, prejudice and disrespect.

Woman musician playing the contrabass

Our People

Building Bridges with Music employs a diverse group of the finest and most accomplished musicians in the mid-west and beyond.

Our musicians represent a variety of cultures, ages and gender & have extremely compelling stories  sharing their personal encounters with bullying, prejudice and hatred.

Full jazz band performing live in a school event

Our History

In the mid 1990s, Bridges founder Jeff Haas was working on a commission project with a group of Detroit musicians featuring legendary trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, saxman Rob Smith, bassist Chuck Hall and drummer Alex Trajano.

Due to budget cuts, music programs in many Detroit public schools were eliminated. It occurred to Jeff that public schools in the Detroit area might be receptive to hosting rehearsals that were open for the students to observe.

Jeff approached principals four inner-city schools where he had attended in his youth. Principals and staff were very receptive to the idea of hosting Jeff and his colleagues. As the project evolved over the next four months, so did the interaction with the kids.

The students loved the opportunity to enjoy the energy and excitement of live music. During the breaks, students gathered around the bandstand and had questions for the musicians, not about the music but how we met, did we get along with one another, did we like the same kind of music. The students were reacting to the multicultural make up of the band. The seeds for Building bridges with Music began to take root and grow.

Building Bridges with Music has since developed curricula for grades K-2, 3-5, middle and high school as well as community center and workplace workshops. R-E-S-P-E-C-T! & STOP the Bullying! workshops have reached over 50,000 participants in more than 700 schools and many community centers and private sector businesses.

Jazz band performing live in a school gym for young students

Building Bridges With Music

P.O. Box 1225, Traverse City, MI 49685