Birmingham music scene mourns passing of Bernard Lockhart

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 6:23 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Bernard Lockhart was a man of many talents. His legacy and love of music - especially jazz - will live on.

Lockhart founded the Magic City Smooth Jazz and hosted Jazz in the Park for several years. He passed away from complications of COVID-19 on Monday, December 21.

Perfect Note Owner Tremayne Thompson says Lockhart was one of the first people he met when he and his wife moved here from Chicago.

“We didn’t get a lot of warm welcomes, you know, and Bernard was just that breath of fresh air,” says Thompson. “And you know anything that was needed, anything that was needed anything that I needed advice on or anything like that, he was just there from day one.”

Lockhart’s free concert series Jazz in the Park gave local and big-name artists their start. It was something people look forward to each summer and every Sunday.

“That’s the first time we met Kem Scott,” says Thompson. “That was like Kem Scott’s debut at his Jazz in the Park over there at Botanical Gardens. So you have people that just do things to be doing it. But Bernard did it because he loved it.”

Thompson says Lockhart is legendary and he plans to continue what this legend started.

“I definitely can be able to attempt to live that legacy because the community would never be the same if it’s not lived,” says Thompson. “So we got to ensure that that lives on.”

He says people should still take this virus seriously and follow all guidelines.

“We all have to do our part,” says Thompson. “If we all do our part, on at a time I guarantee we can stop the spread. We can at least stop some of the spread of this deadly virus. Please, please I pray that you take this serious because it is serious.”

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