Lifestyle, News

Rainbow reflects Lynn’s true colors

Carlos Thomas, left, and Nadia Lebron during rehearsal for Jazz is a Rainbow free kid’s workshop at LynnArts for their upcoming show on Aug. 26. (Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — As the nation comes to grips with the fallout from the racial violence in Charlottesville, Va., a pair of musicians plan to use jazz to light up local youth. World renowned jazz artists Michael Palter and Lynne Jackson are back in Lynn 12 years later with their production of “Jazz is a Rainbow.”

The Aug. 26 production at the LynnArts auditorium uses the music and history of jazz to shed positivity throughout Lynn’s youth, according to Palter.

“If we think about what’s happening in the country right now and what’s happening here in this rehearsal room, it’s the complete opposite,” he said. “The world keeps going and in Lynn we have people afraid to venture out. We have to get through to their kids and it’s more difficult than before.”

Palter, Jackson, and director Robb Dimmick have worked together for more than 20 years. All three agreed how important it was to come back and do this show with Lynn’s diverse youth to create a free, positive space for them and their families.

“This show is really about interraciality,” Dimmick said. “We see how jazz arrives in America becoming something that people of all races can share in a space that thrives off of integration and that’s why it is so powerful.”

With a cast of about 11 people, some as young as 9 years old, the rainbow of Lynn is truly shown in their diversity. Most of the kids said they knew nothing about jazz music until joining this production.

Lynn native Leyka Louis is a fifth grader at Shoemaker Elementary School and is excited about the production.

“I think it’s really great because they will learn the history about jazz,” she said.

Sixth grader Nadia Lebron grew up in Lynn, but now lives in Salem. She could not wait to talk about her favorite song from the production by Billie Holiday, which shares the same morals she was raised with.

“The song is about Jesus and how some people might have things that other people may not have,” she said.

“Jazz is a Rainbow” is free to the public and will be Saturday, Aug. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the LynnArts auditorium at 25 Exchange Street.

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