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Joe Sample Set to Headline Benefit Concert for Houston Parochial Schools

Joe Sample, the legendary pianist, and his trio will headline the 3rd Annual Henriette Delille Legacy Concert at the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston Island, Texas. The concert, which takes place on Sept. 15, was created and organized by Sample more than three years ago to raise funds for Houston inner-city parochial schools. This year’s concert will also features guest performances by vocalist Randy Crawford and smooth-jazz trumpeter Rick Braun. Showtime is at 8 p.m.

In 2005, having recently returned to his hometown of Houston, Sample created the Joe Sample Youth Organization (JSYO) to raise funds for his childhood school, Our Mother of Mercy Catholic School, and two other sister Catholic schools in inner-city Houston. In its first two years his small grassroots organization has been able to give over $100,000 to the three schools involved.

Located in Houston’s Fifth Ward, Our Mother of Mercy Catholic School is the oldest historically African-American Catholic elementary school in Houston. The school first opened its doors in the fall of 1931 and is run by the Sisters of the Holy Family. Sample’s connection runs deep; he was baptized at Our Mother of Mercy, which he calls “the old Creole Catholic church,” and attended the school for nine years. Sample’s father was one of the church’s founders. “It was amazing how a group of poor people from Louisiana went to a segregated downtown church, gathered their own funds, and built something remarkable and lasting out of nothing,” Sample remembers.

Sample’s latest release, Feeling Good (PRA Records), featuring vocalist Crawford, marks a return collaboration between Sample and Crawford, who first worked together more than 30 years ago.

Originally Published