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Unique Program Uses South Coast Museum's Artwork As Inspiration For Students To Compose New Music

Music, and art are coming together in a very unique way in Santa Barbara. Some of the works on display at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art are serving as inspiration for music being created at a week long student workshop, led by a Grammy winning musician and composer.

Ted Nash is in the middle of a stint as an artist in residence at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The saxophonist is a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and is considered to be one of America’s leading contemporary jazz composers.

But this week, he’s working with about a dozen high school age musicians, using the inspiration of art to create music. It’s an outside of the box program being offered by the museum.

SBMA's Director and CEO, Larry Feinberg, says they try to stretch the envelope to bring different audiences to the museum.

The end result of the workshop is a public concert at the museum Saturday. But, Nash says for the kids he’s working with, the journey to create the works is the real opportunity for the students. He's has done the art as inspiration for music program once before in Santa Barbara, and also in China. It's the concept he developed in his album “Portrait in Seven Shades,” in which he used MoMA masterpieces as insporation.

The performance stemming from the workshop takes place this Saturday, at in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s Mary Craig Auditorium. The 6 p.m. event is free, but you need to make reservations through the museum’s website,