Lorenzo Washington talks about Jefferson Street’s Rich Musical Heritage at State Museum

Lorenzo Washington, from Jefferson Street Sound Museum.

Local music historian Lorenzo Washington, from Jefferson Street Sound Museum, will give a presentation on preserving Jefferson Street’s cultural history, including the life and music of soul singer Jackie Shane. The Lunch and Learn event will be 12:00 Noon – 1:00 pm on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at the Tennessee State Museum, 1000 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard, at the northwest corner at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and at the intersection of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Jefferson Street.

In February, 2017, PRIDE writer Wanda Clay profiled Washington and his museum on Jefferson Street, as follows:

“Lorenzo Washington has been nestled on Jefferson Street since 2013 as the founder of Jefferson Street Sound, LLC (JSS). JSS located on the Historical Jefferson Street, 2004 Jefferson Street. JSS houses a music production studio, rehearsal hall that has been a great support to musicians. While not opening as a museum, it has always had the qualities of a museum. The decor adorning the walls of the main area includes a multitude of photos. The photo collage shows not only museums, but elected officials, community leaders and an array of special friends surrounding the room.

“Washington has been dedicated to preserving the sounds of rhythm and blues, jazz and the legends in music that made Jefferson Street popular with a variety of nightlife entertainment ‘back in the day.’ Since its opening on Jefferson Street, JSS has undergone a few changes. However there’s never been a change in the concept of preserving the legacy of music from noted musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Little Richie, Otis Redding, Marion James and all R&B and jazz music from the ‘40s to the ‘60s.

“The changes occurring only include increasing his repertoire of the musical arts. When Washington speaks, his conversation is often about ‘the music’ and its profound effect on Jefferson Street. He is excited about the growth of the museum and the opportunity to share this history with the community and as many people as possible. When visiting JSS, people are often moved to contribute items to the museum when they feel they possess something of value that could be shared.

“‘The Tree’ was once the only indicator on the building. Now a bright abstract mural depicting Jimi Hendrix and Billy Cox, painted by visual artist LaRhonda Angelisa, gives the building an increased notice. The Tree is something special that serves as a logo and offers a quick history of musicians as the branches are a collection of musician’s names.

The Lunch and Learn event is free and open to the public at 12 Noon on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. This month, TSM offers a specialized tour experience that focuses on Tennessee’s African American history. The 45 minute tour will highlight the diverse culture of African Americans, while aiming to acknowledge the oppression they faced from various forces in Tennessee’s history. This free tour meets in the second floor lobby each Friday and Saturday during February at 2:00 pm.

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