2014 DocFest

Robert “Doc” Morgan, the former director of jazz studies at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, was pretty happy when Grammy Award nominations were announced recently. No, he didn’t get a nomination. He got something better: Three of his former students were among the nominees, each recognized for individual projects: Jason Moran, Everette Harp and Robert Glasper. “Oh, and Beyoncé, she got a bunch of nominations, too,” he deadpans about PVA’s most famous alum.

Harp headlines the 2014 DocFest, a music festival featuring Doc’s ex-students. Bassist Chris Walker, currently a sideman for Al Jarreau, is chair of the event, which benefits the Helen and Bob Morgan Jazz Scholarship at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York. DocFest has been in the works for more than a year, he tells us. “Doc was such an inspiration for so many of his students, it just seemed like the right thing to acknowledge that. He did so much more than just teach us about music; he taught us about the business, how to be professional, actually about how to be a good person. Those lessons have stayed with us whether we went into music or not.”

Walker is slated to join Harp onstage during DocFest, as are keyboardists Darrell Lavigne and Skip Nallia, guitarist Dwight Sill, and drummer John Fontenot. Also performing are saxophonist Warren Sneed (currently director of jazz studies at HSPVA) and singer/guitarist Scott Gertner.

6 to 11 p.m. The Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main. For information, visit docfestjazz.org. $25 to $50.
Sat., Dec. 27, 6-11 p.m., 2014

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Olivia Flores Alvarez