This week I talked with Lawrence "Larry" Watson who is performing with his Jazz Group "Workforce" and special guest guitarist Shun Ng at the Promise Place School Boston Gala that takes place Saturday September 26, 2015 at the Seaport Boston Hotel. Larry Watson is an inspiration to many as a master teacher, an activist and a musician. By joining his musical talents with his life-long struggle for human and civil justice, Watson is a soulful messenger for the next millennium. He is currently Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music. Promise Place School is an initiative of the Foundation For International Justice, Inc., which was founded by Stonewall Veteran Erica Kay-Webster to create a year-round living and learning environment for unaccompanied LGBTQ homeless youth. I talked to Watson about how he became involved with the Promise Place School Boston Gala and, as a fierce LGBT ally, his spin on our LGBT issues.
When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Watson stated:
I think that my personal commitment has grown over the years. I've written a musical called "Still on the Journey". One of my friends the late John Tucker passed away in the 1980's and we went to Cornell together. He was a physician at Harlem Hospital and he came to Boston to die because he was ashamed to share who he was with the community and I felt all of his friends, all of us were guilty that he didn't feel comfortable enough to talk about who he was. I think as I look at growing up as a child and being an artist and being different, it's so easy for people to label one and it's so unfair to categorize people sometimes the way they do, only for the purpose of discriminating. I think that people need to step up to the plate whether they be straight or gay or confused or enlightened, what have you, and speak out on any level of injustice and it is an injustice and it is wrong for us to marginalize children that may be transgender or children that may be gay or adults that may be because of our own incorrect reading of scriptures or our own warped politics that doesn't have us recognize the wonders of humanity.
Lawrence "Larry" Watson has performed in venues with Al Green, Smokey Robinson, Oleta Adams, Little Richard, Gladys Knight, The Neville Brothers, Tata Vega, Jean Carne and The Boston Pops Orchestra. He has also been the soloist at several events honoring three Supreme Court Justices, President Nelson Mandela, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The Honorable Reverend Desmond Tutu, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and President Barack Obama. With his Jazz Group "Workforce" Watson will be performing music from the Motown Songbook as well as original works including a piece that he wrote for the Children's Defense Fund entitled "Blessed Are The Children" which addresses moving our society forward on behalf of all our children. The Promise Place School's First Annual Spring Gala on Saturday September 26th in Boston will be honoring Congressman Joe Kennedy, Diego Miguel Sanchez, Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Carl Sciortino, Joe Finn and Elisabeth Jackson for their continued support of the mission to help homeless LGBTQ youth.
For More Info & Tix: promiseplaceschool.org