What is Power Access?
R. David New founded Power Access, Inc. in 2010 in response to the lack of cultural programming for and by people with disabilities. An all-volunteer 501(c)3 not-for-profit, we are dedicated to presenting cultural and educational programming that shines a spotlight on the abilities of people with disabilities as defined by the American Disability Act, and to offer viable solutions to their challenges.
Power Access has been presenting activities through its Ability Explosion® beginning in 2010. We launched the first Ability Explosion® with the Miami Beach Disability Access Committee as a Disability Awareness Day, which featured disability simulations and awareness about audio and tactile crosswalks at new traffic signals. After that first year, we expanded the project to be a weeklong event featuring a Resource & Technology Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center, a 5k run, a business luncheon in conjunction with the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, and “Lights out Miami Beach”—dining in the dark citywide attended by almost 1000 people. In subsequent years, Ability Explosion® expanded to include; wheelchair basketball, “Taking It to the Streets” featuring music on Lincoln road, a Comedy Explosion, a water sports exhibition, and “Cooking Without Looking,” a television show of cooking classes by and for the blind.
Why a Jazz Festival?
Disabilities can be obvious or in many cases not readily apparent. According the American Psychological Association: “A disability is present when activities usually performed by people (such as walking, talking, reading, learning) are in some way restricted. Thus, someone with congenital blindness has a disability, as does someone who must use a wheelchair for mobility purposes. Other disabilities are not necessarily apparent, for example, acquired brain injury or chronic depression.”
As such, many people with disabilities have those that are not recognizable from the outside–they could be diabetic, or have some kind of a birth defect, or even alcoholism, or attention deficit disorder, all classified under the ADA. Power Access’s approach is to provide the community with an enhanced experience of people with disabilities that will create tolerance and mutually beneficial relationships.
The South Beach Jazz Festival:
Power Access presented its first festival in December 2016, featuring jazz superstar Diane Schuur who has been blind since birth. The musically vibrant 5-day festival reached as many as 1,700 people thanks to our extensive marketing campaign and our producing partner, KCC Productions. The second year, this past January, saw a greater expanse in programming and audience with Branford Marsalis being a huge success with a sold-out kick off. We witnessed how the music forged bonds between listeners and performers, but more importantly, how the sheer talent of the artists promoted the festival’s primary goal: enabling the musicians to be defined by ability rather than disability. To further this goal, at least one member of each musical group had a disability, therefore, creating opportunities for those individuals while educating the community. We invite you to view the promo video at the following link – https://www.dropbox.com/s/icem68j4s5v958n/sbjf.mp4?dl=0.
R. David New
After losing my sight in 2001 from a rare eye disease, I have since become an ardent advocate for people with disabilities in Miami. I am the founder and former president of the Miami Beach Council of the Blind (an affiliate of the Florida Council and the American Council of the Blind). I now serve as its treasurer. I have also served for six years as the chairperson of the Miami Beach Disability Access Committee and was recently reappointed by Mayor Dan Gelber. You can learn more about my journey and work at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw-hPNMO8kY&sns=em and https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=250&v=qw-hPNMO8kY
This year’s lineup:
The 2019 South Beach Jazz Festival seeks to create the same successful outcomes achieved in the first two years. Performances are both free and ticketed. Performers and audience members of all abilities will be represented. We will partner with organizations serving people with disabilities by providing free tickets and transportation if needed to ensure participation. American Sign Language Interpreters will be provided at the Colony Theater event as well as at the stages on Lincoln Road and Euclid Avenue.
To date, the Festival schedule is as follows:
- January 4th - Colony Theater/ 8 p.m.
An intimate evening with Dee Dee Bridgewater
- January 5th - Colony Theater/8 pm
The Marcus Roberts Trio in Concert
- January 5th - Ocean Drive - "Motion on Ocean" Series 12-5 p.m.
Location 1 - Jesse Jones Jr. Jazz Ensemble
Location 2 - Elsten Torres
Location 3 - Ashley Pezzotti Jazz Ensemble
Locatoin 4 - Jonathan Joseph Jazz Quintet
- January 6th - Jazz Brunch/ Temple Emanuel 11 a.m. -2 p.m.
The Alex Weitz Hasidic Jazz Project
- January 6th - 1 p.m.
Master Drum Class with Jonathan Joseph
- January 6th - Free Stages, Lincoln Road
Euclid Circle/Main Stage 12-6 p.m.
Leesa Richards Jazz Project
Brian Lynch Spheres of Influence
Maria Rivas Jazz Quartet
1111 Lincoln Road Student Stage 12-6 p.m.
Nicole Yarlings "Future Starts of Jazz"
Soundscape Park 8 p.m.
Wallcast Jazz Documentary