Fans of jazz who gathered on the east lawns of the iconic Devon House on Waterloo Road in St Andrew were treated to a feast of pure and avant-garde jazz, in celebration of International Jazz Day 2019. Organised by the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, the performers comprised staff and students of the School of Music, and special guest Steve Turre.
Turre proved to be the perfect fit for the Caribbean’s flagship arts institution. Armed with a bag of seashells, among other gadgets, and a trombone, the American jazz trombonist evoked a wide range of emotions. Three of the pieces were Trayvon Blues, Sonny Rawlins, and St Thomas.
Trayvon Blues was a journey through pain and fear. It is influenced by the story of Trayvon Martin. “My son could have been Trayvon,” he told The Gleaner. “My son is African-American, he got nappy hair. That could have been him walking home one night … and that stuff’s still going on. So I wrote the song because it moved me. That poor kid didn’t do nothing, and he got shot. So the song came to me, that’s the story behind it.” The moving composition ended with seashells blown to echo the screams of the terrified teenager.