"A Moment of Grace" is the name of a true, personal story by jazz singer Sharon "Sugar" Jones, a Portsmouth, New Hampshire Native. This weekend just gone I was the feature storyteller at the New Hampshire Theatre Project's 3rd Annual Storytelling Festival. My part was pretty much done on Saturday, I returned on Sunday to be part of the festival showcase, one storyteller out of five. Although I knew the most of the other storytellers and counted them as friends, I had never before met or heard of Sharon Jones. She is a jazz singer who began telling personal stories a year ago and I was looking forward to hearing this new-to-me voice.
I was blown away. This unassuming (and powerful) woman blew in to join us moments before kick-off. She shook herself off and was ready to go! A sly and easy smile, and a soft voice that came with a demanding presence. Sharon was the last to go on the stage, and commanded the audience with wit and humility. As her story unfolded, we learned she was one of 13 children who grew up in a tight-knit family in Portsmouth, NH. She wanted to sing and knew this at a young age and strove to follow her dream. I don't want to tell her story. I want Sharon to tell it in her own voice. Often.
I recorded all the performers as I sometimes do at a showcase (with permission) and was so glad I did. Sharon gave me permission to share this recording, which you can find on my Patreon site after the 20th of February.
Her story needs to be heard loud and far. Sit back and listen to this incredible story, almost sung to us, and wait until the very end, when the applause dies down.
Sharon "Sugar" Jones and I have talked a bit since the festival and I hope her story will be traveling far and wide very soon. After listening to this, keep an ear open for her.