Sheldon T. Nunn

Sheldon T. Nunn

In December of 1997, one of Houston, Texas' finest jazz venues closed its door for the last time. Rockefeller's had been an icon for national and local talent for 18-plus years. The club's demise meant the end of a jazz institution. Over the years, some of the best artists and musicians in jazz made their way through the doors of Rockefeller's. After its closing, Houston experienced sporadic attempts at bringing national jazz talent to various concert halls and to a few clubs. The results …
In 1971, Bubbha Thomas, the Executive Director of Jazz Education, Inc. sought to have the month of August designated as Jazz Month in the City of Houston. With that idea came a proclamation in support of that effort. Bubbha's vision, led to an increased focus on programs relating to educational opportunities for students interesting in pursuing jazz as educators or professional musicians. Since those early days, jazz education has become a major focal point on a national and …
The City of Houston is widely known for its lackadasical attitude towards jazz. The municipality boasts two radio stations, three festivals and a number of educational opportunities devoted to America's only original art form. But in spite of these offerings, jazz acceptance seems to have a hard road to travel in Houston; however, every once in a while a bright light of jazz activated energy appears on the horizon, giving promise to jazz connoisseurs all is not lost forever. Overall when examini …
Thirty-one years ago, Texas Southern University launched KTSU 90.9 FM, a 10-watt 24-hour radio station capable of a broadcast radius of 10 miles. Housed in a converted building on the campus of the university, the station was the first black-oriented FM station in Houston, Texas. KTSU also had the distinction of being the first radio outlet located at a predominantly black institution of higher learning in Texas. Since those humble beginnings in 1974, KTSU-FM affectionately known a …

By most standards that have already been established, the 15th Annual Houston International Jazz Festival was a huge success. Held in Houston, Texas on August 5th, 6th, and 7th, the Festival featured three nights of exceptional jazz entertainment, all of which were highlighted by various themes associated with the international aspects of the event. On August 5th and 6th, Asian and Latin Jazz Night provided the internat …

In show business there is an old saying "the two hardest acts to follow are animal acts and children." The point was proven to thousands of Jazz fans after witnessing the performances of the Summer Jazz Workshop All-Stars at the Houston International Jazz Festival at the Verizon Wireless Theater August 5, 6, and 7th. Although the headliners put on great performances, the buzz after each night was about the children musicians enrolled in the Summer Jazz Workshop.

It …

Whenever saxophonist Kirk Whalum comes to Houston, Texas, it is just like a family reunion of sorts. As a product of Texas Southern University, a protégé of Arnett Cobb and a veteran of Houston’s local club scene, Kirk has a long and storied history in the city. In addition, he also has a strong and affectionate fan base as well. Since becoming a national recording artist during the 1980s, Kirk Whalum has performed in Houston numerous times; however, on the evening of Februar …

Historically speaking, jazz has often served as a springboard for change and a mechanism to highlight any number of community-oriented activities. Although the genre is most commonly known as an art form and a source of entertainment, numerous charitable organizations have used jazz to bring focus to their overall mission. As has been the case, benefit performances have also been used as an entertainment incentive towards helping many of these groups accomplish their goals. Out …

Looking back at jazz’s rich history and tradition, female vocalists have always had a stand-alone relevance as one of the genre’s most significant influences. Without a doubt, the music of Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and Ma Rainey have served as a series of guideposts to light the way for others to follow. But the shoes of those legendary mistresses of song hav

One of the more iconic figures in modern day jazz came to Houston’s Arena Theater on November 15, 2008 to bring entertainment of a different color to the Space City. Considered by many to be the poster boy for smooth jazz ideology, saxophonist Kenny G has been at the forefront of the industry since recording his chart-topping album ‘Duotones’ in 1986. Following that success came ‘Silhouette in 1988,’ another notable release commanding considerable acclaim. Since th