MIAMI, Fla. – Dozens of relatives crowded the old Historic Lyric Theater in Overtown when Miami’s Harvey Lockhart, who as a youth trained with the late Melton Mustafa Sr., returned from St. Louis, Mo. for the 22nd Annual Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival Weekend.
Lockhart brought with him from St. Louis his Point of View Jazz Band of high-schoolers that he now directs, announcing that he and the young musicians themselves raised the $10,000 needed to make the trip, and intend to return every year.
The Point of View Jazz Band youths wowed the audience Sunday in opening the festival’s Red Carpet Night closeout night.
They were followed by two sets of pure jazz featuring internationally acclaimed musicians Curtis Lundy, bassist; Brianna Thomas, vocalist; Godwin Louis, saxophonist; Jesse Jones, Jr. saxophonist; James Cotman, drummer; Yamin Mustafa, trumpeter; and others, along with virtuoso tap dancer Marshall Davis, Jr., another Miami native, The three days of events kicked off with packed houses Friday and Saturday at the Lyric Theater. The festival opened Friday with a VIP reception featuring a night of live jazz and poetry, continued with workshops and performances on Saturday, and ended with the red carpet closeout concert.
The weekend was filled with anecdotes, tributes and appreciation for the late Mustafa, Sr., founder and director of the annual festival, for his wife Zakiyyah and family, and all who support its theme of “Continuing the Legacy of Jazz.”
A world-renowned trumpeter, composer, arranger and producer, who died last year, Mustafa started the multi-day event with the vision to perpetuate great legacy of jazz music.