The North 24th Street Business Improvement District (BID) andAssociation have chosen jazz musician, Dana Murray to provide music programming and education to the North Omaha community at the former Love’s Jazz building at 24th and Lake Street.
Dana Murray, a native of South Omaha, studied music performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston. As a professional percussionist, Mr. Murray has shared the stage with musicians who span the musical spectrum including Omaha’s own Preston Love, Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones and Aloe Blacc. In 2005, Dana returned to Omaha to raise his son and to teach as a music instructor at Omaha Burke, Bellevue East and at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Dana recorded and released his debut album Negro Manifesto in 2018. He currently produces music from his home where his professional studio is housed.
“It is an honor and privilege to be given such an opportunity. Youth development through music has been my greatest passion in life. The once vibrant, beacon for music, art and culture can shine once again on North 24th Street. This will not belong to me… This belongs to the community. Let’s get it!” says, Dana Murray.
While the goal is to reopen the former Love’s Jazz building and provide music education and performances for the community, there are still several steps involved prior to reopening. The North 24th Street Business Improvement District will serve as the master lessee of the three bays and is currently defining the terms of the lease with the City of Omaha.
“Now that we have determined who will run programming, our next step is remodeling the space. Our timeline for reopening will consider renovations and how the coronavirus plays out.” says LaVonya Goodwin, Board President of the BID. “We also want the community to know that this space is under new organizational management and is not in collaboration with the former Love’s Jazz board.” says Goodwin. The City of Omaha terminated its lease agreement with the Love’s Jazz and Arts Center board of directors in October 2020 after a series of lease violations.
The BID plans to ensure that the music history of North 24th Street and Preston Love’s role in that history remains a part of the programming. There has been no decision regarding a name change on the building, and the BID plans to support Dana Murray’s programming from an advisory role with the goal of the program running as its own nonprofit in the near future.
Pastor Ralph Lassiter, BID Board Member andPresidentoftheBIDAssociationstated, “Our decision was not easy; however, I am confident that we are moving closer to our vision of North 24th Street becoming a premier destination that is family-friendly, rich in history, culture, heritage and a base for economic development. I encourage the community to support Mr. Murray as he strives to have a positive impact on our