MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Music has a way to make you press pause on all the problem of the world.
Having endured a pandemic, a Germantown community finds comfort in a monthly jazz festival on a Nextdoor neighbor's front lawn.
He usually enters stage left.
“If I knew it wasn’t going to rain, I’d set up out there,” said Roger Pace, a Germantown resident and Nextdoor neighbor.
The show must go on.
“Like on the sidewalk in front of the flagpole,” said Pace.
The early birds get the best seating for Roger Pace's show in Germantown.
“Tonight’s concert is called Summer Sing-along. I’m going to play songs on my saxophone. Hopefully, my neighbors will sing, talk, remember the words. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is having a good time,” said Pace.
The audience caught the down beat and felt the rhythm from Pace's monthly encore after his premiere last spring.
“When we moved here from Texas, and I was a professional musician in Dallas/Fort Worth for 30 years...” said Pace, “I started setting up on my front porch April of 2020. Six neighbors showed up. They didn’t throw anything.”
It is a performer's stamp of approval.
Pace explained, “A friend of mine who lives across the street was walking his dog and he said, ‘When are you doing the next one?’”
His friend and neighbor nudged him to get the show on the road.
“He pulls out like four or five instruments every time we come out here… He’s just so talented. I think that’s part of what makes enjoyable. You can tell that he loves it and that makes you love it in return too,” said Kai Pamintuan, a Germantown resident.
“I just like the feel because it feels good to be out here,” said Samantha Do, a neighbor.
“It’s just very soothing,” said Claire Do, another neighbor. “I think it’s a very good idea and I enjoy it. I think everybody else who’s watching enjoys it.”
“Even if there’s two or three people, I’m still going to play for them,” said Pace.
For the audience is his muse and he is the perfect pitch to an out of tune year.
“Now that the restrictions have been lifted, they get to see people they haven’t seen in a year and catch up,” said Pace. “It’s very gratifying. I appreciate their support because without it, it wouldn’t mean nearly as much. Besides as a performer, if you don’t have any audience, it’s just practice.”
Of course, practice makes perfect.
We're just jazzing with a showstopper.