From left: Dahi Divine on tenor sax, Vince Turnbull and Charles Washington on trumpet, and Kyree Shaheed on drums at the LaRose Supper Club.

The Rotary Club of Chestnut Hill recently awarded a Gundaker Foundation Grant to Jazz Bridge on behalf of the Sunday night jazz session at the La Rose Supper Club in Germantown.

Rob Henderson, founder and host of the Sunday Night Session accepted the award. The LaRose Supper Club is located at 5531 Germantown Ave. in Germantown (Germantown Avenue at Schoolhouse Lane).” The Gundaker Foundation grant of $1,000 will assist with educational programs and instrument repairs.

The Sunday Night Session at LaRose is the miracle of the melting pot. It includes players as young as 11 or as old as 91. There are young up-and-coming performers and international performers too. It’s a joyful occasion for the musicians and the audience.

Founder Rob Henderson, 55, is dynamic, enthusiastic, energetic, and jovial – a real master of ceremonies – and a drummer too.

Rob says his job at LaRose is “to expose the young musicians to the truest music I know. Here young players can come and play, learn from more experienced players, be mentored, and network. It will help to keep the jazz coming. It’s the music that made America famous. It’s not mainstream. You can hear jazz on public radio, or in concert halls like the Kimmel Center, but you rarely hear it on TV shows or in ads. It’s been exposed, but it gets minimal backing.”

According to Rob, true jazz came out of real life, the streets, brothels, bars. It’s social, give-and-take, and you have to be able to play, improvise, in the moment.

Germantown is proud to have the LaRose Sunday night jazz session in our neighborhood. The Gundaker Foundation Grant through the Rotary Club of Chestnut Hill will assure that the Sunday Sessions will continue.

Thanks to the Rotary Club for their enthusiastic endorsement of American jazz. And thanks to their assistance, young musicians will continue to learn the “real stuff” and be a part of a vital musical tradition.

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