The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Jazz fans along with family and friends of the late Zachary Breaux grooved to the music at Port Arthur Public Library on Saturday.
Vicky Conner was among the group who attended the tribute to the jazzman. Seated toward the back of the Lucy Stiefel Gallery, Conner explained both she and Breaux graduated from Lincoln High School in 1978. A class reunion is planned for this weekend.
“This is a tremendous event” Conner said adding she wished more people had attended the event, especially to honor a Port Arthur native who was a successful jazz musician and who died at the age of 36 while trying to save a woman from drowning in Florida in 1997.
A group of musicians provided musical entertainment, some of whom included Pat Juneau, Jeff Simon, Lynn Simon, Shelton Forrest, Timothy Jacquet and Alex “Gumbo” Carrier. The Rev. Robert Jackson lent his voice to several musical numbers including “Summertime” and Gerald Beckett, a classmate of Breaux’s from North Texas State University, brought along his flute.
“It’s a honor to play at Zach’s tribute,” Juneau said during a brief intermission. “He was a great man and a humanitarian who gave his life to help someone else.”
Manuel Breaux, Zachary Breaux’s father, enjoyed the tribute.
“I think it’s wonderful, wonderful,” Breaux said. “It makes me feel good to see he is still remembered.”
The library gallery was decked out with photos from Breaux’s life and framed digital screens projected moments in the musician’s life including CD covers and more and Port Arthur City Manager Floyd Johnson presented a proclamation in Breaux’s honor to his family.