Jacques Lesure is a professional Jazz guitarist and recording artist. There is a myth that Jazz is dead and especially in the African American community. This is simply not the truth. What IS true is the lack of UNDERSTANDING and APPRECIATION of what this music REALLY IS. As a Detroit native and one that travels the world extensively, I will agree that there is a “ Jazz Drought” in South LA. Without going into a full blown history lesson, I ask the reader to do a little research, and you will soon see there is a rich history of mainstream Jazz music being available in our community.
Many factors have gone into the current condition of culture in predominantly Black areas. Riots, lack of music education in schools, inflation and our current family structures that place a single parent at the helm. The advent of things like the “ smooth jazz”, which is a great misnomer( it’s really just instrumental R/B with recognizable melodies and strong back beats), have also greatly contributed to the downfall.
Many 35-60 year olds are not familiar with, Miles,Trane,Wes, Cannonball, Nancy and Ella. These were and ARE household names. It simply was not a part of their exposure. They listen to CERTAIN stations and attend the events put on by those entities. You might say well there are “all kind of jazz festivals in our neighborhoods” This also is problematic because these event are called “Jazz Festivals” but never really showcase JAZZ. MAYBE a little “smooth jazz”, but hardly anything “classic”. In most case the headliner is a R/B legend type. They are MUSIC FESTIVALS more than they are JAZZ FESTIVAL.
So , that brings me to this. In INGLEWOOD, there is a glaring example of Jazz on the upswing. Lavender Blue is it! Sunday nights are bustling with that “old school” feeling. Live Jazz, good food and drinks, and a crowd of established neighborhood patrons. The owner Marsha Tekeste has always been a lover of Jazz and Blues and has entrusted me with the responsibility to keep the level of excellence in the music in Lavender Blue. There is no better place ANYWHERE, to hear ANY BETTER MUSIC. It doesn’t matter how much you paid. The finest musicians hang out on Sundays at Lavender Blue. For more information please visit www.lavenderbluela.com or call (424) 227-6712
Also Linda Morgan, a Jazz impresario and preservationist has a establish a wonderful Jazz Vesper series at Morningside United Church of Christ in Inglewood. For more information please visit www.livinglegendfoundation.com
Jazz music is alive and well in Inglewood and we look forward to seeing YOU!
If you want to know more about me and Jacques Lesure and his engagements, please go to www.jacqueslesure.com.