Celebrating Al Jarreau Concert Highlights

DocFest Fall Benefit Concert, Celebrating Al Jarreau…Starring Chris Walker & Friends, was a huge success!

The full house concert took place on September 7th, in the new state-of-the-art Denney Theatre, located in Kinder High School for Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), downtown Houston. DocFest celebrated Al Jarreau & special guests, a Kinder HSPVA Hall of Fame induction and a surprise proclamation delivered by Mayor Sylvester Turner. The evening was MAGICAL!

Kinder HSPVA Jazz Combo Performed at the Reception before the Concert

Fans, Friends & Family Gathered

Keith Vivens & TKO opened the show with amazing talent and energy!

Keith Vivens, Class of ’80, was inducted by DocFest into the Kinder HSPVA Hall of Fame. David Craig, one of last year’s recipients, presented the award.

Robert “Doc” Morgan received a proclamation from the Mayor Sylvester Turner. He proclaimed September 7th, 2019 as Robert “Doc” Morgan day in the City of Houston!

Celebrating Al Jarreau…Starring Chris Walker & Friends was magical and healing!

Among those attending the concert was Al Jarreau’s close friends, fans and family (including Al’s son, Ryan). To complete this celebration, Chris invited everyone to the stage! There is no doubt that Al was right there with us!

A special thank you to DocFest’s official photographer, David DeHoyos, for his continued support. We would also like to thank Jeff Wayt for contributing his photos.


DocFest Musicians Conduct Master Class

On Friday, September 6th, DocFest Co-founder & President, Chris Walker and Friends conducted a Master Class at Kinder HSPVA with Warren Sneed’s top big band during his Jazz Ensemble I class.  Warren Sneed is the Director of Jazz Studies at Kinder HSPVA and Vice President of DocFest.  DocFest’s honoree, Robert “Doc” Morgan, the Jazz Studies Director at HSPVA from 1976-1999, was the moderator.

The master class opened with the students performing, followed by performance comments by the panel.  The panel included *Chris Walker (bass & vocal), Joe Gordon (Al Jarreau’s manager), Larry Williams (keys & flute), John Calderon (guitar & vocal) and Alexandra Jackson (vocal). The moments were captured by DocFest’s official photographer, *David DeHoyos. Willie Jenkins, *Mollie Measher and *Jinx Hayden were some of the DocFest “family” members in attendance.

The DocFest concert, Celebrating Al Jarreau…Starring Chris Walker & Friends was held in the Denney Theatre at Kinder HSPVA the next evening on September 7th to a full house. It was a magical evening!

*HSPVA alumni


Learn more about HSPVA

The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), recently renamed Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, is a public high school in Houston, Texas, and is part of the Houston Independent School District, the seventh-largest school system in the nation. Its founding, in 1971, can be traced to the keen visions of two legendary educators:

Ruth Denney

Ruth Denney

• Ruth Denney, Founding Principal
• Dr. George Garver, the forward-thinking HISD Superintendent of Schools, 1970 – 1974

Ms. Denney and Dr. Garver admired New York’s famed fine arts high school (LaGuardia), and felt that HISD had grown in numbers and talent to the extent that such a program could be established for the gifted youth of Houston, without adversely affecting the many excellent neighborhood high schools. This was before the now-familiar term, “magnet school,” was coined, but the concept was identical.

After many months of planning, HSPVA opened its doors in the fall of 1971 in an abandoned synagogue just south of downtown Houston. The school was successful from day one (a surprise to many), and has since evolved to become one of the most renowned arts training programs in the world, with curricula offered in Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts; also with traditional high school academic offerings of the highest caliber.

Ruth Denney shepherded HSPVA through its early years, and then departed in 1976 to become Professor of Theatre at the University of Texas/Austin. She retired from UT in 1988, remaining in Austin until her death in 2007 at age 92.

Among Ms. Denney’s many significant honors:

• HSPVA’s performance hall is named, in perpetuity, The Ruth Denney Theatre
• The Ruth Denney Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Theatre at the University of Texas, established at the time of her retirement

Further information about HSPVA, including audition details, is available at the school’s website:
Kinder HSPVA



DocFest 2015 Highlights

DocFest 2016 with Jason Moran

Jason Moran invites 2013 scholarship recipient, Sterling Overshown, to the stage.