The JoGo Project – Dear Draylen (Tiny Desk Contest)

DC, get ready because this video has some big feels. Fronted by saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed, The JoGo Project updates DC’s signature go-go sound with influences from jazz, rock and hip-hop. Their 2018 entry for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest is called “Dear Draylen”, and its description requires quoting in full:

Draylen Mason was a 17 year old Double Bassist, who was said to be “the most remarkable talent” in a youth orchestra program at University of Texas at Austin. Though only in high school, those who knew him said he was a kind soul who inspired those around him through his music. He’s also been described as an “aspiring neurosurgeon” and a “Black Belt Martial Artist.”

Draylen Mason was killed when a bomb went off inside his home in east Austin on March 12th 2018. He was the second to be killed by Austin’s serial bomber.

Before his death, he was one of only 130 accepted applicants to earn a spot at Ohio’s Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He had already been chosen before he died but students weren’t told of decisions until Friday afternoon.

His life is one cut much too short and we were inspired to create a song in his honor.

“He was one of us”, indeed. Contribute to the Draylen Mason Memorial Fund through YouCaring.

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