August 04, 2011 - Demonstrating the power of music education in childrens’ lives

Billboard chart-topping jazz musician Eric Darius shares his personal story and musical talent as part of national musical education effort

Tampa, Fl – As kids pack their backpacks and return to school this Fall, experts say they should also pack a musical instrument.  From increased reading scores and higher grade point averages to decreased acts of racism and disciplinary issues, study after study reveals students exposed to musical education have a much greater likelihood of excelling socially, and academically, in their day-to-day lives.  Billboard chart-topping international jazz recording artist Eric Darius is real-life example of these nationwide stats and is “On a Mission” to share his motivating personal story and innovative music as a role model to young people across the United States.  

Eric and Children
Eric comes from a musical family who instilled the importance of music, playing and learning, from day one.  “Music literally bonded my parents, siblings and I,” recalls Eric. “We played together, wrote music together and, as a result, I developed a love of learning and connecting with others, as a whole. Music kept me out of trouble and in upper percentiles academically.  This is what I want young people to take away from my personal story.”

Eric’s musical style-a smooth mix of jazz, hip-hop, R & B, pop, gospel and rock, has earned him Billboard hits, the invitation to perform with musical icons around the world and many career successes.  He learned to play the saxophone at age ten, toured the world by eleven with Sonny LaRosa and America’s Youngest Jazz Band, and has since shared the stage with Prince, Carlos Santana, Wynton Marsalis, George Benson and Brian McKnight, to name a few.  At just twenty-eight, the internationally-known saxophonist and composer has released five critically-acclaimed albums, including “Goin’ All Out” in 2008, whose hit song by the same title soared to #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart.

He insists music is a vital part of every child’s education.  Today, Eric partners with schools, nationwide, to reach out to kids musically. During these visits, he performs, speaks and meets youths with a goal of demonstrating the long-term benefits of music education. He hopes to inspire thousands of people, young and old, to strive for success, musically or otherwise.  “I teach young people that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice to succeed in anything they do.  I challenge them to spend less time watching TV and playing video games, and to dedicate time to learning and pursuing all that will get them what they want: a college education, fulfilling lifestyle, and a profession that they are proud of and passionate about,” explains Eric.

Eric would like parents, guardians, and educators alike to review the following stand out musical education statistics and facts from the last decade:

  • 78% of Americans feel learning a musical instrument helps students perform better in other subjects -Gallup Poll, "American Attitudes Toward Music," 2003 Nine out of ten adults and teenagers who play instruments agree that music making brings the family closer together - Music Making and Our Schools, American Music Conference, 2000
  •  71% of Americans surveyed by the Gallup Poll believe that teenagers who play an instrument are less likely to have disciplinary problems -Gallup Poll, "American Attitudes Toward Music," 2003
  •  95% of Americans in a 2003 Gallup Poll believe that music is a key component in a child's well-rounded education; three quarters of those surveyed feel that schools should mandate music education - Gallup Poll, "American Attitudes Toward Music," 2003
  • Students of lower socioeconomic status who took music lessons in grades 8-12 increased their math scores significantly as compared to non-music students. But just as important, reading, history, geography and even social skills soared by 40%- Gardiner, Fox, Jeffrey and Knowles

“A lot of younger people generally associate jazz with music that puts you to sleep and that only ‘old people’ listen to,” he laughs. “Then I play one of my songs, and they hear elements of hip-hop, R & B, pop, gospel and rock – all the types of music they love and relate to. At that moment, their eyes and ears open, and they begin to realize that jazz can actually be cool.  In order for jazz to grow and evolve, it’s going to have to start with the younger generation. This is where my mission of sharing and creating a community conversation comes into play.”

In his own music, Eric continues to be a creative force in Jazz and a trailblazer in the world of making of difference in the lives of future generations.

Media Opportunities: To book Eric Darius as a musical guest or interview, please contact Julie Robbins at (813) 448-7717 or [email protected] or Olivia Moore at [email protected].

About Eric Darius:

Jazz artist, Eric Darius, has released five critically-acclaimed albums: “On A Mission” (2010); “Goin’ All Out” (2008); “Just Getting Started” (2006); “Night On The Town” (2004); and “Cruisin’” (2000). He began touring at age 11 when he was chosen to be in Sonny LaRosa and America’s Youngest Jazz Band, which consisted of musicians ages 5 to 12.  The group toured the country and abroad, including the prestigious Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Darius is currently performing both nationally and abroad.  For more information, please visit or follow him at, and at