Friends, family, members and guests gathered at Clark Memorial United Methodist Church, 1014 14th Ave. N. on August 4 for the annual Clark Jazz Concert. Long-time member and musician at Clark, Leonard H. Morton, Sr., was surprised to know that after over 15 years of coordinating the annual Clark Jazz Concert, he would be the honoree for the day!
It was Jazz as usual with a little twist this year. Morton always hosts with a word about music and its universal usage being the same and different at the same time. With the introduction of each guest, he teaches how music varies in sound, creating different genres—yet it remains the same in its technicality of scales, notes, etc. As the concert has moved from outside over the years, into the sanctuary (mostly due to the overwhelming heat), the repertoire also includes Gospel.
“Music is the same everywhere. It’s just how it is used,” said Morton.
This year Morton surprised his music team, who always assist in getting the Jazz Concert together. He had invited a guest rap artist, local talent Rob Dee, a young man from the Wednesday noon meditation group who was encouraged to share his music a few years ago. He was invited to come again and participate in the Jazz concert.
The Music Team also surprised Morton by a slide presentation shown of past Jazz concerts. He was also honored by having the annual concert named the ‘Leonard Morton, Sr., Jazz Concert.” In addition, a seed offering was collected to begin the Leonard Morton, Sr. Scholarship Fund. He will be given a scrapbook with pictures and ‘notes’ of encouragement handed out for people to write special messages to him.
The evening ended with Morton inviting anyone familiar with the song ‘Jesus is a Rock in a Weary Land’ to come up and sing.
Following the conclusion of the concert, everyone was invited to share ice cream and cake in the fellowship hall.
“This was indeed a great day,” said visitor, Audrey Hall. “I always come to the Jazz Concert every year and never miss it.”
Other performers included: Easy Jazz Quartet; Men of Compassion; gospel artist, Rev. Tomlinson; and rapper, Rob Dee.
Clark Memorial is located at 1014 14th Ave. N. under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Herbert L. Lester, Jr.