Music Star Gives Back to an Oklahoma Community

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Nationally recognized musician takes part in local drug prevention campaign to help get drugs out and arts in.

Art has taken on lots of meanings in musician Jana Jae’s life. At the age of two and a half she began studying the violin with her parents, both graduates of Juilliard. By the age of 5, Jana had become amazingly adept on her instrument and was introduced to her Granddad's fiddle tunes, perfect for encores. By age 12, Jana began entering fiddle contests while continuing her formal violin training, winning contests and graduating magna cum laude with a degree in music. She traveled around the world studying and playing music and later became a regular on the Hee Haw Show.

Jana says that playing music was probably the most important part of her life. “My Granddad was a fiddler,” she says. “It was in the family, from Bach to bluegrass, something we would do together.”

Music is also something that Jae attributes to keeping her out of life’s temptations as she got older. Music was a wholesome activity that gave her focus; something that her family could do together. This is one of the primary reasons why Jae has joined forces with local McAlester groups for a new campaign to get drugs out and arts in called “Take McAlester Back.”

The Take McAlester Back movement was formed by a coalition of businesses who were brought together by the McAlester Chamber, Pride In McAlester, McAlester Main Street and Narconon Arrowhead. The groups have the goal of eradicating the drug problem and replacing it with arts and humanities. This will be done through programs that foster creativity for youth and adults alike to take away the pain of drug and replace it with the joy of creating.

They will kick off their official campaign with an event on October 23rd on Choctaw Ave in McAlester from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. followed by a benefit concert where Jae will be featured and will play with a number of other talented performers.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing for the entire community to come together,” says Jae. “To get drugs out and arts in is such a worthwhile endeavor because it makes people think about it and appreciate what the arts are doing in the community for the youth, families and even retirees – they’re fun activities, progressive, and good for the community.”

Today, Jana has a successful solo career and plays anything from “pops” concerts with major metropolitan symphony orchestras, to state fairs and even does appearances at conventions, on television and at nightclubs. Jae is one of the most well-known artists throughout in the country and in the state of Oklahoma and is known as a performer with an uncanny knack of knowing just what an audience wants.

Her benefit concert will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Scottish Rights Auditorium in the Masonic Temple with all proceeds benefiting the Okla Theater restoration project.

"Take McAlester Back is so meaningful to me,” says Jae. “As a professional musician from my first television appearance in New York City at age 5, I am continuously grateful for what involvement in the arts has brought into my life experiences. I want to share these wonderful blessings.”

For more information on Take McAlester Back go to http://www.takemcalesterback.com.

To schedule an interview with Jana Jae contact Erica Catton at ericacatton(at)yahoo(dot)com

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