Sarah James Jazz Unveils Soul-Stirring Video Art Music Poem in Tribute to Jazz Legend Robert Ackerman

Published February 12, 2024

In a deeply moving tribute that masterfully blends video art and spoken poetry with the soulful rhythms of jazz, Sarah James has unveiled a Video Art Music Poem dedicated to the memory of the late Robert Ackerman, a distinguished saxophonist, composer, educator, and pioneer in the realm of jazz. Ackerman, who departed from this world on December 26, 2022, leaves behind a legacy celebrated by numerous members of the jazz community. Renowned for his expertise in artisanal mouthpiece reconstruction and rejuvenation of vintage saxophones, Ackerman's impact on jazz is both profound and widespread. To commemorate the first anniversary of his passing, Sarah James has crafted a heartfelt homage that fuses her poetic and musical talents, shedding light on Ackerman's life and the complex nature of human emotion.

The Video Art Music Poem, now accessible on Sarah James's website at, offers a potent and raw depiction of the challenges that pervade urban life, interwoven with Ackerman’s melodic saxophone tunes. The visuals, filmed across New York City and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, feature an assortment of mysterious city tunnels, graffiti-adorned walls, and stark representations of homelessness, all serving as a poignant backdrop to James's impactful narrative. In her poem "Things That Are Mean," James tackles themes of anger, cruelty, and societal disregard, emphasized by an impromptu ensemble performance with Ackerman’s tenor saxophone taking center stage.

The collective efforts of musicians Herb Robertson, Wayne Smith, Bob Hovey, Herb Fisher, and Tom Sayek, along with Ackerman, construct a soundscape that reflects the intensity of James’s poem. Their contributions elevate the emotional resonance of James’s narration, painting a vivid picture of human sentiments and the complexities of life in the city.

Sarah James commented on the significance of the project. "Creating this video poem was an opportunity for me to merge the visceral nature of poetry and music, paying homage to a spirit as dynamic and expressive as Ackerman. He greatly influenced my artistic path, and dedicating this work to him is my way of recognizing our bond and his vast contributions to jazz," stated James. "It exemplifies the impact of artist collaboration and the profound effect we have on one another’s lives."

As the Video Art Music Poem is made accessible through Sarah James's website and social media platforms, including and, it emerges as a reflective piece that fuses jazz with visual and literary arts. It not only serves as a homage to Robert Ackerman but also as a poignant reminder of the deep connections and potential for expression within the arts.

"This piece overcomes the conventional barriers between jazz and poetry, welcoming viewers into a collective space of introspection and celebration of life. Ackerman's legacy extends beyond his musical creations to the motivation he ignited in others. Our collaborative project on this video poem honors that enduring essence," James reflected.

As viewers immerse themselves in the Video Art Music Poem, they are invited to delve into the spectrum of human emotions, appreciate the beauty of artistic collaboration, and honor the lasting legacy of a jazz icon, all through Sarah James's creative vision and voice.


For more information about Sarah James Jazz, contact the company here:

Sarah James Jazz
Sarah James
PO Box 1217
Hoboken, NJ 07030

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