(Helena - West Helena, AR) - HELENA-WEST HELENA — This year Jazz on the Levee is honoring one of Helena's own – legendary jazz musician Red Holloway -
according to Dr. Ronald Myers, musical director for the event. The concert is set for this, Saturday, April 21, and is free and open to the public.
Jazz musicians from Mississippi and featured saxophonist Phillip Stackhouse, a Helena native himself, will perform on the levee from 4 to 6 p.m. In honor of
Red, free meals will be served.
Before his untimely death, Holloway made this statement on the telephone with Myers about his plans to attend the Jazz on the Levee this year in his honor.
"I was born in Helena. But when I was about five, a neighbor was lynched. So my mother hurriedly packed me up and we left. She did not want to risk my life
by staying Helena. Imagine being honored now in the place where my mother feared for my life. Sometimes I came back to Helena just to walk the streets where
I lived as a little boy."
"Red passed away before making it to Saturday’s event in his honor," stated Mary Olson, one of the event organizers. "His music is known around the world,
his life celebrated in the bright lights of music halls in countless countries. But to us, he is a youngster who left for the North and hoped to return to
be with us Saturday."
Tri County Rural health network Inc. and Walnut Street Works Inc. sponsors Jazz on the Levee. Myers is designing the musical program and bringing the
Myers said because Holloway saw Stackhouse following not only in his grandfather's footsteps (Houston Stackhouse) but also in his own (Holloway's), the
young Stackhouse has become the featured musician each year.
The annual jazz festival is held every year on the third Saturday in April and is part of the International Juneteenth Jazz Concert Series featuring
National Juneteenth jazz artist Myers on piano and trumpet.
For additional information please check out these Websites: www.JazzArkansas.com and www.JuneteenthJazz.com.