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BOTTOM LINE: “You Can ‘Cool Out’ with Jazz

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

I woke up Tuesday morning listening to accounts of the protest against police shootings/attitudes/actions regarding Blacks in specific, and minorities in general. I have had my share of bad experiences with police, as well as participating in marches and protest. So, I must confess, my morning being shaped by “news” that was in fact an “old story” and was starting to give me the blues.

I fed and was sharing my blue feelings with my dog Sherman, when ignoring my pity party and grateful for his food, he gave me that “you the man” look.  “Thanks Sherm” was my thought as I instantly felt better.  Returning inside the house and into the atmosphere of my radio I was caressed by the sound of Jazz…Herbie Hancock! “Wow, KJAZZ is kicking this morning,” was my thought, but my baseline thought was,”you know you can’t get KJAZZ on this radio.” I was right, it was KUCR 88.3 FM effecting “Jazz Tuesday.”  I listened to 30 seconds of Jazz and my whole attitude changed!  I felt cool, empowered, like a person who has loved to lean on. I felt in touch with myself and the power of being one of God’s children. The free flowing music was like taking a “Wind Bath!”

The sounds and feeling reminded me of the medicinal value of Jazz Music. I decided that it was time to publicly thank Jim Palmer, founder of the Jazz and Art Exchange, for his commitment to keeping jazz alive in the Inland Empire. Jazz is a soother for most male anxieties. Jazz can make men forget what they were arguing about. Jim Palmer has been providing “a place to play” for Jazz and Blues musicians for over ten years. Jim‘s home base is the “Jazz and Art Exchange” located in the Adreson Building in Downtown San Bernardino.  Thanks Jim!

Every Monday evening at 1073 N. Mt Vernon Avenue at the Elks lodge, musicians gather for the “Blue Monday” Jazz Jam. A small donation provides access to hours of good music, food and drinks under the direction and hospitality of Jim Palmer and his partner Amos ”The Chef” Wallace.

Jim and Amos are now providing management services for the Elks Lodge, and on Sunday, December 28 they will bring a Grammy Nominee to the Inland Empire. The legendary Blues and Jazz singer, Barbara Morrison, will perform at the same Elks Lodge, at 1073 N. Mt Vernon for a 4 p.m. show.  This is the first of the Route 66 Jazz Series Produced by Westside Story Newspaper and Empire Talks Back radio.  Attending this show will not solve all of your problems, but you will definitely feel better about your chances. Jazz will allow and encourage you to “be cool!”

For ticket information and reservations to witness the great Barbara Morrison perform and entertain at a world class level, see the ad on page 8 or call (310) 462-1439.

 

World Renowned Bar-Kays Close Out the Year with Benefit Gala

BarKeys

By Sheri Neely

The legendary Bar-Kays celebrated 50 years in the music industry with a red carpet gala with friends and fans from all across the country on Thursday, December 4 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis. Hosted by Elise Neal and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, performances included George Clinton, ConFunkShun, The Dazz Band, Mary Jane Girls, Willie Clayton, Sir Charles Jones, Jazze Pha, The SOS Band, Doug E. Fresh and the reunion of the United We Funk All-Stars. Special guest appearances included David Porter, Al Bell, Otis Redding, III, daughter of Rick James Ty James and Cherelle.

The benefit gala supported the Bar-Kays coined “Fab Five” nonprofit organizations: The Down Syndrome Association of Memphis & the Mid-South, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, United Way of the Mid-South, The STAX Music Academy and The Allen Jones/Marjorie Barringer/Bar-Kays Scholarship Fund in support of LeMoyne Owen College.

Special presentations were made at a private VIP reception sponsored by the Hard Rock Café Memphis downtown on Beale Street. The Bar-Kays’ James Alexander and Larry Dodson, Sr. were presented with their honorary guitars from Hard Rock Cafe of Memphis’ general manager Julien Salley and Memphis & Shelby County Music commissioner Johnnie Walker.

They received awards and special presentations at the gala as well, including a proclamation from the State of Tennessee presented by Congressman Steve Cohen. They also received a presentation from the City of Los Angeles by award-winning filmmaker Keith O’Derek. The Bar-Kays performed during the historical WattsStax Music Festival held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 20, 1972.  Organized by Memphis’ Stax Records to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots, it is known as one of the top most important civil rights contributions to music history.

The red carpet gala was followed by a private VIP after party which was also held on Beale Street and sponsored by BB King’s Blues Club and Restaurant. It was attended by many of the performers and special guests from the gala.

Legendary Jazz Chanteuse, Barbara Morrison, is Nominated for a Grammy

Barbara MorrisonLOS ANGELES, CA- The dazzling Miss Barbara Morrison’s achievements within the community and music have been paying off. She has been nominated for a 2015 Grammy for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.” In addition to her nomination, she will also be coming to the Arrowhead Elks in San Bernardino on Sunday, December 28 where she will be doing a Pre-New Years Eve concert and performing a special blend of Jazz, Blues, and Gospel.

Morrison will be bringing her quartet along with her to perform. The concert starts at 4 p.m. and doors open at 3:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $25 and $55 for VIP and a meet and greet. All proceeds will benefit The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. The Arrowhead Elks is located at 1073 Mt. Vernon in San Bernardino (92411).