Honoring National Poetry Month


In honor of both Jazz Appreciation Month and National Poetry Month, we are delighted to share the works of three local poets and musicians. The relationship between jazz and poetry is long, deep, and ongoing. Jazz poetry has always been a voice of racial consciousness, holding and rejoicing in Black heritage, and creative expression.

Community Corner is a series that invites the public to contribute their thoughts, reflections, observations, and more about the world around us, particularly as it relates to jazz and music overall. Earshot Jazz is dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories of artists and community members alike. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this series are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Earshot Jazz. Please email submissions to editor@earshot.org.

The Drummer 


sizzle pat pat

duh guh duh guh duh guh duh

boom kat boom cat wack

chuh chi-gee chi-gee chuh kat wack duh guh 

sizzle jack pat jack wack duh guh

boom dah boom-a-dah boom!

Black Music


We celebrate and honor

this expansive music

for it is a way to connect

artists, listeners, and humanity

a music beyond our comprehension

in many ways

yet it involves straightforward and challenging

methods by which musicians practice on the daily

a music so expressive and free

yet disciplined and nuanced

there is enough to examine for 11 lifetimes or more

always grateful to be a part of the movement

Tributes to Wayne Shorter 


  the jazz








in each of us

a name waits 

to be spoken


The Record Player


Listen nephew

I opened the record

player again and met

my friends unmet

like Betty and Cole

and these guys called Queen

and the snowflake notes

raced out their gate

to a place you don’t

yet understand

and stayed

hovering around two-

thirds of the way up

from floor to ceiling

it is funny 

you will know

to know someone so

deeply without sharing

your secrets with them

but that’s the secret

I’m here to share

with you now

the secret in fact

is that if you let them

let yourself

know you fully

give them the real

your passion and pain

I promise you will


and fail

and grow

on their wings

and shoulders

you will share the joy

of spent suns

and soft days

there is a place

on the water

near a school

with a tree

in the grass

and when I tell you

that it is so much more

because of them and me

and what we’ve done together

you will know

you are one

with all of us

in this family of things

a note before you go


together in our 

earthly-only jazz

we sit flowing safely

about this moment

about this moment

at the Langston Hughes

able to kiss just

with the treble of our eyes

about this moment

your palms are soft as clay

your rhythm interlaced with clues:

the notes in-between

this music                           warming our bones

on the cusp of                     chaos

          a      mountain.  before us

                          are these knees weak or do they want to get moving?? no

        they catch the snare

              climbing with fortissimo

                    safe atop this peak in-hand

                            oh heavens i will miss you


refuel my heart

a few beats

until your return


Posted on

March 29, 2023