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Jazz on J Street In Lake Worth Beach Returns After Pandemic Hiatus

Jazz on J Street.png
Blanche William
Jazz On J Street in Lake Worth BEach

Jazz on J Street has been a fixture in Lake Worth Beach’s art and music scene for the past five years. The popular, eclectic jam session is back after being sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The monthly event features internationally acclaimed Jazz musicians from around the world — organizers say the much-anticipated return gives the community a sense of normalcy through music.

"People got a lot of love and joy from being at the jam sessions so it’s not only about the music,” says Blanche Williams, founder, musician and host of Jazz on J Street.

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With support from other musicians — like professional jazz drummer, Jeff Abbott — Williams says the jam sessions in the past few years have turned casual onlookers into “dedicated supporters.”

“It’s a community builder. I always tell people, when you come there once, then you’re family.”

Williams is a former national XM satellite radio talk show host. Her show, “Greatness By Design,” featured interviews with music legends, such as Sonny Rollins, Nancy Wilson, Patti LaBelle, and George Duke.

She says the Jazz on J Street event has moved around, but jazz lovers have alway stayed. The event was originally located at the independent Book Cellar, but the Cellar permanently shut down due to the pandemic.

Now fans can attend, and watch, Jazz on J Street May 18 at the Sugar Plum and the Grumbling Growler Art Gallery on Lucerne Avenue. The arts venue/book store is a creative hotspot for young local artists.

And Williams says the event isn't just for jazz lovers. Fans of the event vibe to blues, classical and rhythm & blues tunes. Rising local musicians, from high school to college-aged performers, also take the stage.

She says the event is “cross generational.”

“And it gives you a whole different sort of a diversity of sound, too, and experience,” Williams said.

Wilkine Brutus is a reporter and producer for WLRN and a guest faculty member at the Poynter Institute. The South Florida native produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs.