Jazz great and HSPVA alum Jason Moran smiles while posing seated at a piano.
Jazz great and HSPVA alum Jason Moran. Photo courtesy kennedy-center.org. Credit: kennedy-center.org.

After the opening performance of Jazzy Sundays by Robert Glasper, the Grammy Award-winning pianist from Houston, the good times just keep on coming.

The local jazz explosion is a three-months-long series of free, outdoor concerts being held at three city parks.

Robert Glasper

Emancipation Park – located 3018 Emancipation Avenue, Houston – the venue for Glasper’s opening session, hosted the second jam session a week later featuring Matthew Hartnett & The Gumbo All-Stars and Frank Nooney & The Zydeco Floaters. This Sunday, March 19, the iconic Third Ward venue will welcome to the stage Stretch and Vanguard Collective. And closing out the concerts at Emancipation Park is the incredible local artist and HSPVA alumna Lenora, who is on the verge of “blowing up.” She will be joined by Jeremy Joseph on March 26.


“Guest can expect to come out to the park and enjoy free concerts performances by local and regional musicians representing the best in jazz and its related forms such as gospel, blues and zydeco,” said Brannon Nealy, the Emancipation Park Conservancy’s Director of Marketing & Communications. “One of the main objectives of this concert series is to increase awareness of the city’s contributions to the art form of Jazz, as well as bring Houstonians together to enjoy their cultural heritage. That being said, Emancipation is Houston oldest park and has a history unlike any other park or green space in the City of Houston. The park is located in the center of the Third Ward Community, which makes it the perfect place for people to come together to celebrate our cultural heritage and enjoy some great musical performances by some outstanding national and local artist.”

Gumbo All-Stars

The April lineup (see below) will take place at Discovery Green, 500 McKinney St. in Houston, 77010, followed by four May shows at The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park, 105 Sabine St. in Houston, 77007.

Each family-friendly concert will be held from 5-7 p.m. and feature two musical acts. Those who attend are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs, while food and drink will be available for purchase.

“In recent decades Houston has produced some of the biggest stars in contemporary jazz,” event organizers said in a news release. “This concert series will increase awareness of the city’s contributions to the art form as well as bring Houstonians together to enjoy their cultural heritage.”


The concert series is being funded through a grant by the Kinder Foundation and organized by the Buffalo Bayou Park Partnership, Emancipation Park Conservancy and Discovery Green Conservancy.

“The Kinder foundation played a very significant role in making Emancipation Park’s 150th Juneteenth Celebration a reality. The Kinder Foundation is a family foundation established in 1997 by Rich and Nancy Kinder of Houston. Their foundation provides transformational grants that impact urban green space, education, and quality of life. Many of the awe-inspiring transformations that are occurring at green spaces all across the City of Houston are made possible with support from the Kinder Foundation. we would like to extend a very special thank you to the Kinder Foundation, for making Jazzy Sundays possible,” Nealy said.

For more information, visit https://epconservancy.org/jazzy-sundays-2023/, or just check out the list of concerts below.

Emancipation Park

March 5: Robert Glasper; Huston Percussion & Friends

March 12: Matthew Hartnett & The Gumbo All-Stars; Frank Nooney & The Zydeco Floaters

March 19: Stretch; Vanguard Collective

March 26: Lenora; Jeremy Joseph

Discovery Green

April 9: The Felix DeLeon Quintet; The Trade

April 16: Jason Moran; The Stuart Adams Collective

April 23: Diunna Greenleaf; Britney Bloom & Strangers on Earth

April 30: Marlon Simon & The Nagual Spirits; Adriano Santos Brazilian Jazz Quartet

The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park

May 7: The Suffers; Maryum Echo

May 14: James Francies; Cliff Gordon

May 21: The Gabriel Santiago Project; Matt Serice with Along Those Lines

May 28: David Michael Wyatt; Micah Edwards

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...