Music Passes On


Bo Dollis, Sr, 2009 (Photo: Kim Welsh)

I knew that Bo Dollis had been sick for a long time, and he’d had ups and downs in his health—which has been precarious for some time—but this time it sounded really serious. I texted his wife, Queen Rita, and she told me he was holding on, but on Tuesday morning, Bo’s life came to an end. It wasn’t a shock, so much as it was a cold realization that I would never see him again. Another great cultural and musical icon passes away.

All I can tell you is that while you can, please pay attention to our musical legends. Realize what a treasure we have in this city, and that your music experience is a moment you might treasure for the rest of your life.

We celebrated the Best of the Beat Lifetime Award recipients this year a week ago, and it was truly one of the most moving events. Ellis Marsalis, Roger Dickerson, Gary Edwards and Pat Jolly all were moved and were very moving in their acceptance speeches.

The best moment to me was when Ellis Marsalis said that one of his teachers told him to “Pass it on…” and that meant so much to him. His life and music—as well as those of the other award recipients—have been shining examples of passing on our music legacy and tradition. Our musicians have influenced hundreds of thousands of other musicians in the world, and they continue to inspire today, and they will inspire forever. How cool is that?

Please come to the Best of The Beat Awards this evening at Generations Hall. Not only will you have a great time, but you’ll also have the opportunity to show our musicians how much you appreciate them and they’ve made your life fuller and richer.

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