Music has been a part of my life since well before I was born. While I don't play a musical instrument myself, growing up I was surrounded by jazz and I am proud to say that music, particularly jazz, has always been and continues to be a part of my family legacy. Through the sounds of the beating drums my grandfather played, I look back at life as a young boy growing up in Altadena/Pasadena, California and I now truly appreciate the lessons in life he taught me through his music.
I remember my grandfather always practicing his beats on pillows as he sat around the house relaxing. The music in his head came out in softly cushioned echoes as he'd pound his pillows for hours. I couldn't understand it or appreciate it then, but as I look back on life I now recognize that he was showing me that whatever you want to do, in order to be good at it, you've got to practice at it all the time. With this being Black Music Month it feels good to reflect on the influence of music in my life. Often times we overlook the little things in life that matter so much later down the road. I've tried the flute, the drums, and even the harmonica, I couldn't play either of them well enough to get a quarter dropped in the bucket in Old Town Pasadena on a good night. But the hard work ethic my grandfather instilled in me through his magnificent set of drums and constant practicing has given me the ability to build a musically influenced business with my father Roscoe Owens.
My father and grandfather started our family business through their love for live music. In 1991 they formed the Jimmie Owens Trio with two of my grandfather's long time musician friends. The Trio featured Mr. Roger Hamilton Spotts on the keys, Mr. Bob Lacefield on the sax, and my grandfather, Mr. Jimmie Owens on drums. They produced a CD titled "Keeping It Alive" and that is just what we are doing. Playing in many venues throughout Southern California and in Pasadena the Trio kept it live all the time. They have all since passed on but they continue to live on here among us as my father and I do just what the CD they produced told us to do, "Keep it Alive". That CD and musical union spawned our family business, The JazzZone. Together, my father and I keep our musical legacy going strong through our business by hosting and promoting live musical functions and events from California to Texas.
Black Music Month is a great time to reflect and enjoy the rich musical background of our roots in music. It may be recognized as a special month, but music is forever and forever the musical influences of musical greats such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Charles Mingus, and so many more will continue to jam in our minds and hearts. It gives me great pride to include The Jimmie Owens Trio in that list of musicians that add value to our lives and joy to our ears through music.
Music is forever as I've said before, but this month is the month to really reflect on how music has sculpted our lives in so many ways. Check your local listings for live music functions and tap into the nostalgic journey of a rich musical history ripe with the spirit of "Keeping It Alive".