Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is the featured guest conductor of the Summer Jazz Workshop All Stars

By Sheldon T. Nunn –

In 1970, then Mayor of Houston Louie Welch proclaimed “August as Jazz Month” in the City based on the pioneering efforts of Carl Adams and William “Bubbha” Thomas of the Cultural Uplift Program and Jazz Education, Inc. Two years later, Thomas with assistance from Conrad O. Johnson created the Summer Jazz Workshop having a focus on teaching young people jazz fundamentals during five intensive weeks of study that produced a sustainable outcome. What is just as significant, hundreds of individuals from many walks of life have benefited from the workshop. Mayor Welch’s original proclamation as well as support from subsequent Mayors Bob Lanier, Lee Brown, Bill White and that of current Mayor Sylvester Turner have continued highlighting “Jazz Month” as an educational platform for more than four decades. In addition, another aspect of the celebration places much needed emphasis on jazz being “America’s most original art form.”

In 1994 out of the original initiative, the first-ever Mayor’s Scholarship Jazz Brunch became a platform to raise scholarship dollars for deserving students enrolled in Jazz Education, Inc.’s Summer Jazz Workshop. Four Houston Mayors have lent their support and on Sunday, August 12, 2018 at Houston’s Hobby Center, Mayor Sylvester Turner continues that tradition while hosting the 28th annual scholarship brunch. According to Mayor Turner: “Jazz is America’s unique contribution to the music world. Houston, being the most diverse city in the nation, is a unique look into America’s future. I’m proud to help jazz and Houston intersect at a place where we can help college-bound students become the next brilliant composers and performers.”