BLACK LIVES MATTER – A Message From Melissa Walker + Christian McBride

Black Lives Matter - A message from Melissa Walker + Christian McBride

Today, there is no message more important for JAZZ HOUSE KiDS to convey than BLACK LIVES MATTER. We lift our voices in one chorus to denounce the unconscionable and continuous improper wielding of power, brutality and wanton death of black people in this country.

We recognize the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Botham Jean, Eric Garner and so many more who are the dads, moms, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, godparents and caregivers of many of our young people. We can’t make music without our students knowing that their families’ lives — and their own young lives and future — are respected and protected.

JAZZ HOUSE KiDS has dedicated 18 years climbing uphill to help secure the future of young people from all backgrounds, to make sure their song is heard, and for our collective actions to facilitate a cultural shift in the world around us. Our instrument for change is JAZZ, born in the African-American experience and struggle, rooted in the looting of an enslaved people and shared with the world as a challenge to work toward a better tomorrow. Jazz is a music that grows impatient with stagnation.

We stand united with people of all colors and backgrounds who are committed to seeking social justice, truth and reconciliation, and criminal justice reform. We call for the renewed efforts to root out racism that promotes the systemic inequity that has undermined access to proper housing, healthcare, education and jobs. The coronavirus pandemic has once again laid bare the ravages of a tyrannical system that has dominated our country for over 400 years.

We call upon all of us to take personal responsibility and honestly address the implicit bias within ourselves that can infringe upon a person of color’s freedom to enjoy a simple act like a walk in the park. We must all reject the false premise that my freedom sacrifices your freedom.

We at JAZZ HOUSE KiDS hope that through the democracy of jazz, our students, and the families of our students, and our friends and supporters have found love and empathy in knowing people different from themselves. Therefore, the song of America should and will change. Our young people are watching us at this critical time.


Founder & President Melissa Walker Signature
Melissa Walker
Founder & President


Artistic Director Christian McBride Signature
Christian McBride
Artistic Chair