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The Power of Music. The Power of We.

November 2022 — A song can evoke, inspire, express. It has the power to renew, change our heart rate, even heal. Songs are used to teach, whether as part of history, a tool to memorize a concept, or in developing life skills like confidence, perseverance and teamwork. It can both energize or calm. A song can move us to tears and it can move us to act. Music has the power to unite us. Music has power.

Giving Tuesday is an annual day set aside to turn our attention from the gifts for family and friends to the invaluable gifts from and for our community. The “Power of WE” represents the collective strength of our community to support and uplift each other when we need it most.

This Giving Tuesday, November 29th, JazzArts Charlotte would like to capture the power of your special songs and moments of song, and share those gifts of story and experience.


Here are just a few you’ve already offered.

I was a young kid in Boston, still in high school, and already enjoyed jazz. I went to an after-hours club, where I wasn’t supposed to be. It was one of those places not much bigger than a living room, where for a couple bucks, nobody cared who you were, you got in and could be a few feet away from the music. I saw a musician work on his music for 5 hours straight without a break. I was 6-7 feet away from him the whole time. He was creating his sound, evolving from bebop to modern, in front of my eyes, and by the end I could see his mouth bleeding. To hear the way he could communicate through the music was amazing, deep, unbelievable. It woke me up to the power of improvised music and what a jazz artist can do. It was Dexter Gordon. – Bob Baron.

You Light up My Life, Debbie Boone. Music was such a central part of my family and friends growing up. At 10 years old, I asked my mom to see the movie. After we went, we bought the soundtrack and listened to it together, all through high school. My friends and I went to every concert we could, back when they were $25 for floor tickets. We sang and danced our hearts out. No judgement. I’m cancer free now, but I had childhood leukemia as a teenager. Mom took me to procedures and doctor visits every week for years. The thing you learn when you go through something like that is that life is too short to worry about little stuff. Music to me is family, and friends, and the freedom to sing out loud. – Patricia, JAZZ ROOM subscriber.

I’m Old Fashioned, John Coltrane.  “When I was in high school, I would come home after classes and immediately turn on “I’m Old Fashioned” and play along. I would try to sound exactly like Coltrane. For me, that song signifies my beginnings in studying jazz. When I hear it now, I’m reminded of my journey and love for the music.” – Patrick Brown, JazzArts Charlotte Education Director & jazz saxophone player.

The In Crowd, Ramsey Louis. I grew up surrounded by music – speakers in every room, wired together by my dad. As a little kid, I remember not understanding why my older brother could go to clubs to hear bands but I could not. This song would come on, with a cool happy beat we all enjoyed, that makes you want to dance. Hearing it now, I can close my eyes and see my house in Buffalo. This song means family. Kevin Patterson, former Board Member.

All will be Well. A terrible storm hit our town and the church was struck by lightening. We lived near, ran over at the sound, and literally watched it burn with tears streaming down our faces along with the rain. When the storm was over, and we were cleaning up, sifting up the rubble and ashes, we found one single piece of paper only singed at the edges. It was a page from the hymn book, the song title “All Will be Well.” That was many years ago, and we have been rebuilt and renewed. And to this day, that song brings tears to my eyes as it is a very tangible symbol to me in my own life. – sisters Connie and Barbara.

Fly With the Wind, McCoy Tyner. As a teenager, I did not get in to the first college I auditioned at. My piano teacher recommended I find something more impressive to play, so I chose McCoy Tyner’s “Fly With The Wind.” I worked incredibly hard on it, and was rewarded with an acceptance to every school at which I played it. To this day, whenever I hear that piece I’m brought back to age 17 at the start of my musical journey. – Sean Higgins, JazzArts Ensemble Instructor.

I Got Life, Young Gifted & Black, & Here Comes the Sun, Nina Simone. Some of my favorite songs because they make me feel encouraged. My go-to songs when I’m feeling low. They bring me back up, refocus on what we do have. Katie Ramseur, Board Member.

OUR GOAL: to Capture 100 Stories with a Donation to Pass along the Power

For #GivingTuesdayCLT, please take 2 minutes to head to our donate page and tell us a song that has meaning to you, along with a small donation. Help us add up those moments, songs, and stories, and then carry the power of music to the musicians to create it, the students to discover it, and the rest of the world to embody it.

We’ll keep adding stories to our social media page, so keep your eyes out for some of our favorites, and a playlist of collective power.

Thanks for participating in the Power of We to share the Power of Music.

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