Jazz on the Lawn, a solid sender

NAACP annual event garners funds to send local ACT-SO contenders to nationals.

It was truly “Jazz on the Lawn” as the Roanoke Branch NAACP held its annual fund-raiser Sunday, June 24 at the home of Clint Barlow.

On a picture-perfect day weather-wise, attendees under a giant tent set up on Barlow’s huge lawn, dined on fried fish dinners while live music provided the perfect soundtrack for this soulful affair.

“My mother’s name was Non-aa (pronounced No-nay),” Clint said. “I built this outdoor kitchen we use all year ’round as a tribute to her and we called it Non-aa’s Cafe.”

Clint also spoke briefly of “The Sahara” a restaurant they owned in the 60’s through the early 90’s on 13th St. SW. In his black Non-aa’s Cafe apron, Clint hustled about the grounds assuring everything went smoothly throughout the event.

The benefit raises funds for the 2018 ACT-SO (Afro-Academic Cultural Technological-Scientific Olympians) students’ trip in July to the national competition in San Antonio, TX.

This year will mark the second trip for young Lelia Bryant, competing in vocal-contemporary. During her performance at the outing, she first seemed shy, then came alive and “brought the house down performing one of two songs, “Home,” from the “Wiz.” Lifting the moment even higher, everything took an unexpected turn when she gracefully engaged in a heartfelt prayer in her dynamic close. Her stunning performance was refreshing and showed her true potential as an ACT-SO winner!

The Randolph Brothers have been pleasing crowds for years and their performance at the event was no exception. The group: is comprised of Michael Randolph and Brother Love (guitars), Rodney Randolph (drums) and Charles Saunders (bass) with each singing on various tunes.

Although billed as a “jazz” event, the group’s line-up featured such songs as Prince’s Purple Rain, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On, and many others” that energized the crowd–prompting several more spirited attendees to “let it all hang out” and dance!

With all the right elements as: great music, good food and dancing under the clear blue summer sky – all for a worthy cause, this year’s “Jazz on the Lawn” was a rear winner in everyway!