Music for a museum

Jazz concert to benefit Doleman Black Heritage Museum

Jazz concert to benefit Doleman Black Heritage Museum

October 22, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Saxophonist Brian Lenair will be the featured performer at the second annual Doleman Black Heritage Museum fundraiser, an effort to help bring the collection of the late Marguerite Doleman to light.

Lenair will perform at "An Evening of Jazz and Unveiling" set for Oct. 25 at the University System Maryland at Hagerstown. The event is tied to attempts to create a museum to house the thousands of artifacts Doleman displayed throughout her home, which she used as both a museum and living space.

Doleman's home continued to function as a museum after her death in 2000, but family and friends have since been trying to open a bigger and better museum in her honor, gaining the support of city and state politicians in the meantime.

Janice Kelch, secretary of the museum's board and Doleman's niece, said last year's event raised $5,000. She said it would be at least two years before the museum would open to the public.


As a full-time musician, Brian Lenair has been touting album No. 4, "Quiet Storm." He's been promoting his two studio albums and a holiday album on his Web site, BrianLenair .com.

Brian Lenair Williams, 43, of Upper Marlboro, Md., lopped the "Williams" part off his name and simply goes by Brian Lenair, perhaps for the sake of simplicity.

His father's name is Lenair Williams, an architect and a sax player who still plays in the Washington D.C. area.

Lenair played his tenor sax during an interview at The Herald-Mail's recording studio. His music sounded like it could easily be a soundtrack to somebody's cool, but older uncle's bid whist game - not much rap, but maybe some neosoul.

In fact, it seemed improbable to that you'd ever find a Snoop Dog in Lenair's jazz. Lenair said there's just something about live music, which he feels is missing in rap.

"There's an actual spirit that goes through the live instrument," Lenair said. "When there's a computer, there's no spirit. It's superficial. I would love to see more music, especially in rap."

Lenair draws references from folks he listened to growing up in Hyattsville, Md., - Grover Washington Jr. and Eddie Harris on the jazz side, and War, Jackson Five and the Commodores from the funk and soul sides.

He recalled collecting the old records that came from his grandmother's juke box, which she kept at a soul food restaurant called The Spot that she ran in Fredericksburg, Va.

Who's on Lenair's short list for best sax player ever?

"Me," Lenair said laughing. "No, I'm just joking. There's a lot of different great horn players. I can't just say there's one, but there's one who changed the face of the jazz scene - Charlie Parker. He was just one of those icons of the bee-bop style. That style is laced in smooth jazz."

As far as the legacy of live music? He says he hopes to preserve live music.

"Hopefully it won't be extinct," Lenair said.

If you go ...


"An Evening of Jazz and Unveiling," featuring saxophonist Brian Lenair. Fundraiser for the Doleman Black Heritage Museum.

WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25.

WHERE: University Systems Maryland at Hagerstown, 32 W. Washington St., downtown Hagerstown.

COST: $25, general admission.

MORE: For more information please contact Teresa Harmon 301-791-4826 or Janice Kelsh 301-797-7675.


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