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Jazzy Sundays Returns to Emancipation Park

In 2017, Emancipation Park reopened during Juneteenth weekend after undergoing a $33.6 million renovation to conserve the park’s history. Emancipation Park was created in 1872 by formerly enslaved people who wanted to create a space for other freed people to celebrate Juneteenth. Members of the Third Ward community have continued the annual tradition and, with the renovations and partnership with the City of Houston, more events throughout the year have helped provide a common gathering place. Arts and culture programming is one of the park’s staple pillars.

According to the nonprofit, Emancipation Park Conservancy, “Performing and visual arts remain an overlooked resource for policymakers representing communities of color.” They prioritize introducing the community to a variety of artists in hopes of educating and providing opportunities for free entertainment in the Third Ward community.

In an article from Houston Public Media, Adam Zuvanich quoted a news release about last year’s Jazzy Sundays which featured five-time, Grammy-winning artist and Houston native, Robert Glasper.

"This concert series will increase awareness of the city's contributions to the art form as well as bring Houstonians together to enjoy their cultural heritage."

Mathias Lattin, blues and jazz guitarist
Photo credit: Emancipation Park Conservancy

Returning for another year, Emancipation Park hosted Jazzy Sundays throughout March. On Sunday, March 24, Mathias Lattin & LowDown Brown headlined the last show at Emancipation Park. Cat, an attendee at the event, expressed her excitement about having the opportunity to attend the event.

“I love events like these because they’re free, they’re for the people, you can get out and mingle, you can get to meet people, do all the venues, support black businesses and things like that.” 

Emancipation Park’s performances were the beginning of a three-month series, sponsored by the Kinder Foundation. Other parks participating in the Jazzy Sundays series until June include Buffalo Bayou Park and Discovery Green. Come prepared with lawn chairs, blankets, and a hungry stomach to try food from Houston vendors! 

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