We don’t know where your teenagers were Friday night, but we’d bet that they weren’t spending their evening with several uniformed BSO staff. Not if you were lucky or, perhaps, unlucky.
We’d bet they also weren’t dancing wildly…to Herbie Hancock. Or rushing the stage…the one full of men and women in uniform, who can play music and bring the crowd to its feet in a way that is simply breathtaking.
This evening, we attended a fundraiser at the Ali Cultural Arts Center. The evening was billed as follows: “celebrate the sound of JAZZ with the Blanche Ely Jazz Cats as they host their 1st Annual Scholarship Fundraiser at the Ali, the ‘Something New To The Neighborhood.'”
To give the Blanche Ely Jazz Cats their due, the Jazz Cats are a group of seriously talented young musicians at Blanche Ely High School. Any opportunity to see the Jazz Cats should not be missed. (Here’s a clip of the 2013 Jazz Cats performing “Georgia on my Mind”.)
The evening really got going, however, when the Broward Sheriff’s Office DOD band took the stage. Yes, you read that correctly. Here’s a quick overview, taken from the band’s Facebook page: “Founded on July 12, 2015, the Broward Sheriff’s Office has a band comprised of sworn detention employees of various ranks who perform in the community on behalf of Sheriff Israel. We are musicians who enjoy playing various genres of music. We perform on our own time not during work hours. We want to show the community that we are people too who enjoy other things outside of work. We believe music brings a community together and that is our goal. We accept no pay while performing with this group. We bring a positive message and we will not allow others to place negative items on this page. Thank you for liking our page.”
From the first note, we were hooked. Make no mistake, this is world-class talent, albeit in some pretty official uniforms not often seen on, say, jazz drummers. We’ve shared some videos below, the quality of which should be forgiven. Really, it was a struggle to keep filming, as we had to battle our desire to set down the camera and simply join in. Join in the fun. Join in the camaraderie. Join in the music. Join in the dancing. And join in the joyful reminder that music can absolutely, positively bring a community together.
Wow. Just…wow. We’re thinking that if we had this fine ensemble on every corner of our city, our state, heck, maybe even our country, we might instantly reduce the crime rate to somewhere around, oh, zero.
Thank you, Broward Sheriff’s Office DOD Band. Thank you for your service, and for your participation in this exciting and innovative way to bring the community together. We can’t wait for your next performance.