I feel immersed in the grief created by the 21-year old white supremacist Dylann Roof who killed nine African-Americans in the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, after sitting with them for an hour at a prayer meeting.  I will not show his picture or a picture of his gun.

In this immense sadness, I wonder, “Why does it seem so difficult for people to act lovingly to one another?  So many people have every advantage, every materialistic reward, the most sophisticated technology, but they still are ruled by hatred and fear of those they should recognize as brothers and sisters.”

As an antidote to hatred, I offer beauty in the shape of song.  Music is love floating through the air, an aural embrace aimed right at us. I do not mean the lyrics of these songs to be particularly relevant to our grief, but I remember the sensation of everyone — musicians and audience — connected by love and hope, optimism and joy.  It is the way we should be.

AZALEA, by Duke Ellington, performed by Hilary Gardner and Ehud Asherie at Mezzrow on May 18, 2015:

WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS, performed by Terry Blaine and Mark Shane at the Croton Free Library on May 8, 2015:

I know the four musicians in these videos would not object to my offering their performances in the name of healing.

May music — embodied love — help cleanse our hearts of anger, insecurity, and rage.  Please notice I do not say “Dylann Roof’s heart,” but our hearts.

And if any of my readers find my politics deplorable, I encourage them to unsubscribe from JAZZ LIVES: there’s a place at the bottom of the post to do this.  I won’t post inappropriate comments.

If the music and the sentiments move you, please share them.

Let the air be filled with something not stifled tears.

May our griefs grow lighter.  May we remember how to love.

11 responses to “LOVE, NOT DEATH. SONG, NOT HATE.

  1. Michael,

    Given that next month marks the 100th anniversary of Pops’ stunning arrival at age 14 on the jazz scene, how appropriate that his love be added to this sad, sad time. As he remarked numerous times in interviews, “If folks get a little happiness from my music, that’s all I want. Everyone to get along.”

  2. Michael – So beautifully stated. I share your feelings…Joan Bauer

  3. Don "Zoot" Conner

    I share your anger,frustration and deep sadness.How many more of these abominable events can we,the people,take before gun laws are changed.How many broken hearts and lives does take? I have always hidden in my music,but it’s getting more difficult with each assault on my heart and soul.Of course the music will win out AGAIN.I have many difficult things going on in my life,involving a very sick son,but life goes on.Thank goodness for Pres,Lady,et al.

  4. Wishing you and your son happiness and solace, Zoot.

  5. Marco Lombardi

    I am with you. Well done.

  6. Amen.

  7. My goodness, no politics here. This was an evil act that fills us with sadness and disgust. I am linking to your post; I can do no better.

  8. Billl Hoffman

    I would not call this a political message. In fact, I have not seen anything resembling a political message since I subscribed to your blog. I thank you for that, and hope you will keep it that way. I totally share the sentiments you so eloquently expressed here.

  9. Nancie Beaven

    You have a wonderful gift you give to us , to brighten our day, soften the sorrow and put a smile back in our hearts! Thank you, dear friend!

  10. Leon Oakley

    The sickness of the South, and probably the disease is scattered around other parts of the USA.
    The father who gives his son, a mental case, a 45mm pistol for his birthday should really go to jail!!!.
    This incident set the world back 100 years. I’m with your in your grief! Love,….. can we ever say it enough!


  11. My feelings have always been as such,,,It is so much easier to love someone or some people, than not. I always seem to sense this feeling in other people, like you, Michael, and I am so grateful to love and be loved. I feel like the greatest tribute we could pay to the victims of this horrible tragedy is to feel great love for those they left behind. I have had my share, like many of you, but their are people like my “dear nephew Michael” that shares his love and music, and it lifts us up. I thank you dear Nephew for the love you have shown to so many…(including me) and I wish, and wonder why there are not more like you.

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