Jazz Legend's Home to be Preserved

February 14, 2011 Updated Feb 14, 2011 at 9:44 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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February 14, 2011 Updated Feb 14, 2011 at 9:44 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - Elvin Shepherd's passion for music made him an accomplished jazz musician with a career spanning for decades until his death in 1995. Shepherd was widely know for his skills on the trumpet and saxophone and traveled around the country performing. He's also shared the stage with countless legends including Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. His home on Laurel Street in the Queen City had many visitors including Dorothy (Do Do) Green, Clark Terry, and Rick James. Shepherd also taught many their craft at his Buffalo home including Grover Washington Jr.

"His whole life was music. Everyone he spoke to, everyone he talked to, that was the first thing that came out of his mouth," said John Shepherd, Elvin's Son. "Everyone that came to see my father were named musicians, famous musicians but to me there were just my dad's friends."

The Laurel Street home ended up on the city's demolition list, until the Western New York Minority Media Professionals took action. The group successfully stopped the demolition and its now in the process of buying the property to transform it into a museum.

"There was no way we could let that house be demolished," said Sufana Wajed, Vice President of WNY Minority Media Professionals. "The rest of the community doesn't know about this great treasure on Laurel Street. I want people to enjoy the rich history of not only the house, but the street, and Buffalo as a whole. We have such a rich history."

The WNYMMP would like the museum to celebrate Buffalo's rich Jazz history and Elvin Shepherd. Members would also like the property to serve as a resource for upcoming musicians. For more information visit:http://www.wnymmp.org/index.html