Chicago jazz artists address violence head-on (via Chicago Tribune)

Pharez Whitted, a larger-than-life Chicago trumpeter who consistently projects strength and power, couldn’t speak.

He tried to. But as he started to mouth the words, he looked away from the crowd gathered around him at the Green Mill Jazz Club on a Friday night in July.

Up to this point, his set had been progressing beautifully. But then he attempted to introduce his ballad “The Unbroken Promise.”

“This is for all the parents that make that promise to their children,” Whitted said, his voice starting to crack.

Everyone waited to hear more.

And waited.

Finally, Whitted got out the next sentence.

“It’s a promise that a lot of parents can’t keep today, because of the way the world is,” he said.

Then he paused again.

“But we’re going to work on that,” he whispered.

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