Monday, April 14, 2014

In Celebration of Dionne

It was the happiest room in town, and it was the saddest room in town.

This was a tribute to Dionne Jeroue, the young singer who passed a week and a half earlier, and who was adored by everyone in Kansas City jazz who knew her. This was a celebration of Dionne’s life. Musicians and friends swung at their best. Heads swayed, arms thrust forward in time, bodies twisted to and fro in their seats, people rose and danced.

And tears streamed.

The Green Lady Lounge opened early Monday, April 7th, following a memorial service for Dionne, for family, friends and musicians to gather. The Kansas City jazz community draws close when it looses one of its own. Partly, it’s to share grief with friends. But largely, it’s knowing that the person lost is not just honored, but is somewhere smiling broadly at being remembered through a magnificent jam.

Below are photos of just a few of the musicians who celebrated Dionne Jeroue at The Green Lady Lounge. As always, clicking on a photo should open a larger version of it.

Ian Corbett, Lori Tucker and Matt Hopper

Everette DeVan on Hammond B3 and, just beyond, flowers in tribute to Dionne

Ian Corbett and Eboni Fondren

Left to right in The Green Lady Lounge: Chris Hazelton on Hammond B3, Ian Corbett on alto sax, Eboni Fondren, vocals, Danny Rojas on drums, Matt Hopper on guitar, Kent Means on vibes

Trumpets riff along the wall

Matt Hopper and Stephanie Moore

Stephanie Moore

Chris Hazelton

Chris Hazelton and Molly Hammer

Eboni Fondren

Shay Estes

Leaving condolences

Left to right, jamming in The Green Lady Lounge: Everette DeVan on Hammond B3, Steve Lambert on tenor sax, Phillip Wakefield on drums, Lori Tucker, vocals, Matt Hopper on guitar, Kent Means on vibes

1 comment:

  1. Dionne's death is exactly representative of the issues in the Kansas City jazz scene. The life is being snuffed out of it by the very musicians who play the music. The audiences are dwindling because there is a level of fakeness in most of the musicians. And so when someone who is genuine and not pretentious like Dionne becomes a part of the scene, then it is a huge loss because the rest of the scene is selfish, jealous, egoistic,....well, you get the point.
    I was a fan so much that I encouraged others to check out the scene. But then I realized how dirty so many are and no wonder Dionne obviously didn't have anyone to talk to.
    The audiences will not fill up as long as the scene stays this way.


Comments are welcome. If you prefer, you can reach me directly at kcjazzlark(at)gmail(dot)com.