Jazz Night 2020

Join us for the 31st annual Shepherd Elementary Jazz Night on Friday, February 28th!

Mark your calendars for the 31st Annual Shepherd Elementary Jazz Night on Friday, February 28, 2020, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. It includes a potluck dinner, live and up-close jazz music by outstanding artists (including both talented students and veteran professionals), creative activities, and fine company!

Jazz Night founder, Dr. Michael Wallace, introduced this special event 31 years ago—when his own children were Shepherd students. Jazz Night was created with Shepherd students in mind; to introduce them to jazz music in a kid-friendly environment. Bring your children to enjoy the music and see the musicians—and their instruments—close up.

Do you know that the U.S. Congress passed a law (House Resolution-57 aka HR-57) in 1987 that recognizes “jazz as a rare and valuable national treasure”?! It has been said that Jazz is “America’s greatest gift to the world!”

Dr. King on Jazz

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the opening address at the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival. The following is an excerpt. Speaking of the “American Classical Music,” also known as jazz, he said…

“This is triumphant music!

Modern Jazz has continued in this tradition, singing the songs of a more complicated urban existence. When life itself offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of the earth which flow through his instrument.

It is no wonder that so much of the search for identity among American Negroes was championed by Jazz musicians. Long before the modern essayists and scholars wrote of racial identity as a problem for a multiracial world, musicians were returning to their roots to affirm that which was stirring within their souls.

Much of the power of our Freedom Movement in the United States has come from the music. It has strengthened us with its sweet rhythms when courage began to fail. It has calmed us with its rich harmonies when spirits were down.

And now, Jazz is exported to the world. For in a particular struggle of the Negro in America, there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man. Everybody has the Blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith. In music, especially this broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all these.”