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‘Poetry, Music, and Community’ Aims to Break Barriers Between Police and Community

Published on Jun 7, 2023

Clazzical Notes showcases the talents of Blues singer Mel Collins and well-known pianist Adam Ledbetter and up-and-coming screen writer Dennis Escobedo in “Blue on Blues: Poetry, Music and Community,” happening at Alkebulan Cultural Center on Thursday at 7 p.m. Ticket price $10.00.

The performance, which will also feature Pasadena Police Officer Jarvis Shelby and renowned saxophonist Rickey Woodard, and retired educator and community activist Eddie Newman will entertain lovers of poetry, music and community.

The “Blue on Blues” highlights Shelby’s personal story and his journey to becoming a peace officer as well as his observations of the communities in Pasadena.

“It is a program of hearing an officer’s personal story, along with poetry and the Blues,” Jerri Price-Gaines, founder and Executive Director of Clazzical Notes since 2015.  She served as the longtime Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Pasadena Symphony/POPS .

Price-Gaines said she invited a police officer as she wanted to bring a different discourse to the community, at least for young people.

“This is an opportunity for the people of Pasadena to socialize with officers as a path toward relieving some of the barriers between officers and the citizens they serve in their neighborhoods,” said Price-Gaines.

“To hear a police officer voice his outlooks and beliefs, someone who is a man of faith who works in the community, as he takes us through his journey is informative to everyone,” she added.

Price-Gaines said the program is designed for the diverse communities of Pasadena including students of middle school and high school age.

Clazzical Notes debuted at the Fuller Seminary Travis Auditorium in Pasadena and became an independent organization in 2015.

Price-Gaines said Clazzical Notes “always looks at having broad themes and people who have something to say, whether through music or words.” 

Its early concerts featured some of the best orchestral and classical musicians in Los Angeles along with well-known jazz performers from the Greater Pasadena jazz community.

Over the years, Clazzical Notes also featured phenomenal performers including Grammy winning jazz pianist Billy Childs, international opera star, Angel Blue, jazz pianist, Kei Akagi, Sandra Booker, bassist Nedra Wheeler, classical vocalist Susana Guzman and  global pianist, Gerald Clayton, singer actress, Yvette Freeman, Luis Villegas and more.

“Blue on Blues” is partly funded by the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, an organization renowned for its commitment to supporting music education and community arts programs.

To get tickets for the event, visit:

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