There will be special guest performances by critically acclaimed vocalist Randy Crawford and smooth jazz trumpet favorite Rick Braun
Sample dedicates his time and organizes charity concerts to raise funds for hometown schools
On Saturday, September 15, 2007 legendary jazz pianist Joe Sample and his trio will headline the 3rd Annual Henriette Delille Legacy Concert at the Grand 1894 Opera House in Gavelston Island, Texas. This wonderful concert was created and organized by Mr. Sample over three years ago to raise funds for Houston inner city parochial schools. Also performing will be special guests vocalist Randy Crawford and smooth jazz trumpeter Rick Braun. Showtime is at 8pm.
In 2005, having recently returned to his hometown of Houston Texas, legendary jazz pianist Joe Sample created the Joe Sample Youth Organization (JSYO) to raise funds for his childhood school, Our Mother of Mercy Catholic School, and two other sister Catholic schools in inner city Houston. By organizing the now annual JSYO Henriette Delille Legacy Concert, Sample is proud to be able to give back to his community. In the first 2 years his small grass roots organization has been able to give over $100,000 in desperately needed money to the three schools involved. The third fundraising concert will take place in September of 2007.
Located in Houston's Fifth Ward, Our Mother of Mercy Catholic School is the oldest historically African-American Catholic elementary school in Houston. The school first opened its doors in the fall of 1931 and is run by the Sisters of the Holy Family. Sample's connection runs deep; he was baptized at Our Mother of Mercy, which he calls the old Creole Catholic church," and attended the school for nine years. Sample, whose father was one of the church's founders, always had the utmost of respect for the congregation. It was amazing how a group of poor people from Louisiana went to a segregated downtown church, gathered their own funds, and built something remarkable and lasting out of nothing," he remembers.
When Sample returned to Houston, he saw how the neighborhood had deteriorated after the middle class moved out, leaving only the very poor behind. He saw the schools crumbling and decided to organize a concert at the Galveston Opera House to support not only his childhood school, but two others in the district. Those schools have been an important part of the backbone of this city, helping to make the city what it is today."
Henriette Delille was one of the organizers of a group of women who would become the Sisters of the Holy Family. During slavery, these women assisted dying slave women and brought them to priests to be blessed to give them as good a burial as possible," says Sample. They educated slaves under threat of severe danger, as it was forbidden to do that in those days." he added. This group came over with and assisted victims of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, which forced many residents of New Orleans to evacuate to southeast Texas, including Sample's family. The Sisters once again came to the aid of evacuees of Hurricane Katrina, and some of the students currently attending the school were victims of that more recent natural disaster from New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana.
Of his efforts Sample says, I saw that something needed to be done and decided I couldn't wait around while others talked. In the last 2 years we've been able to make a real and immediate difference for the kids. For example, the schools have been able to buy much needed furniture, desks and chairs etc., so that the students have a place to sit, read and study. In one school they were able to replace the entire curriculum of textbooks that were 30 years out of date. In another the heating system had died years ago and in the winter the kids had to wear their overcoats to study. Another school had no outdoor equipment so the children could only stand around on the asphalt."
While working hard for this cause, Sample has had to do more than his share of cajoling and arm twisting for funds, but he says, The future looks extremely bright. I think were beginning to show the doubting Thomases that you can make a difference.
Sample's latest release Feeling Good (PRA Records) featuring vocalist Randy Crawford marks a return collaboration between Sample and Crawford, who first worked together more than 30 years ago. Throughout this album the listener is drawn into the warm embrace of Joe and Randy's musical heritage, a mixture of soul, jazz, gospel, pop, and a touch of the blues, a reflection of Sample's desire to live somewhere in the world where people hold onto their roots and their culture." His 2002 release The Pecan Tree was also inspired by the music and culture of southeast Texas.
WHO: JAZZ PIANIST JOE SAMPLE & HIS TRIO FEATURING PERFORMANCES BY VOCALIST RANDY CRAWFORD & TRUMPETER RICK BRAUN
WHAT: THE 3RD ANNUAL HENRIETTE DELILLE LEGACY CONCERT
WHEN: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2007 at 8PM
WHERE: THE GRAND 1894 OPERA HOUSE
GALVESTON ISLAND, TEXAS
WHY: BENEFITTING HOUSTON'S INNER CITY PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS
TICKET PRICES: $85.00 - $80.00 - $75.00 - $60.00 - $50.00