|Jay’s M.A., from NCCU, is in Jazz Studies.
“I remember when I first saw the picture of Emmett Till and the feeling it brought. I was in the 4th grade at Whitney Houston Academy. It made me sick and brought me to tears. They made it a point to teach us about our history and our music. Although I was born in Haiti, I felt a visceral connection to the culture of Black America. I was especially drawn to the music. There was something about Gospel, Blues, Soul, and R&B that moved me. The struggles and stories of a people were embedded in those sounds. Music spoke to me louder than words ever could. It healed me where medicine could not go.
Recently, I have been feeling that same feeling that I felt in Ms Wood’s class in the 4th grade. The only thing that brings me peace is music. I laid a foundation for my sound at Duke for undergrad. I had the distinct honor of pursuing a Masters degree in the great African American tradition of Jazz at the best HBCU in the world: North Carolina Central University. I am so grateful I got to go to a place that cared about a tradition that has been ostracized from pop culture. I am now a storyteller.
In my sound I hope to uphold the integrity of the history while presenting a voice that is uniquely my own. I want to heal as I have been healed, love as I have been loved and continue the walk to preserve our history that was started thousands of years ago in mother Africa.
Durham from the Heart is a weekly online performance featuring Durham musicians. Thank you Sonic Pie Productions for selecting me as a featured artist. Tune in to this link 1-2 p.m. on Tuesday for some music therapy. I have worked to pour my SOUL into every note of every phrase of every song. The world needs some sonic healing right now.”