Sherman Jazz Classic Coming April 5th - 7th 2019

Sherman Jazz and More Society a.k.a. Sherman JAMS

Can we talk about music? The Sherman Jazz and More Society goes by the name of Sherman JAMS. From my interview, it appears that a bunch of people, places, and things came together serendipitously and out popped Sherman JAMS and the Sherman Jazz Classic in a very short period of time. I interviewed Robert and Sherry Little who, along with Bill and Susan Collins, are the driving force behind the creation of Sherman JAMS and the Sherman Jazz Classic.

This year, the Sherman Jazz Classic takes place over three days on April 5th, 6th, and 7th. The event details follow this interview.

How old is Sherman JAMS?

Robert: Sherman JAMS actually grew out of the creation of the Sherman Jazz Classic. While Sherman JAMS was formally created in October 2018, the discussions and work that led to its creation began in 2017. Sherry and I worked with Bill and Susan Collins to organize the first Sherman Jazz Classic. After it was over, we decided it would be best to go forward with other events through the creation of a nonprofit; especially since we hoped that others might become interested in what was happening and help out financially and otherwise. So, Sherman JAMS, a Texas nonprofit corporation and a 501c3 organization, was established.

What is Bill Collin’s history regarding Sherman JAMS?

Sherry: Bill Collins comes by his talent and love of music honestly. His father was the founding band director at Sherman High School. Bill attended the University of North Texas (UNT) and was a member of its one O'clock Lab Band.* He worked as a professional musician in and around the Dallas area.

Bill’s Father, Bill Collins II, graduated from Sherman High School in 1930. He enrolled in Texas A&M, but the depression hit him hard. He came back to Sherman and found a job clerking for a local cotton buyer. He also led a five-piece band which was so successful that he hit the road with his band and played all over Texas and the Midwest. Bill II eventually graduated from North Texas State Teacher’s College in Denton.

Is this your mission statement?

“Sherman JAMS seeks to promote the study, performance, and enjoyment of jazz and other forms of music in our area. Sherman JAMS may host, promote or participate in musical performances and educational opportunities for the benefit of local musicians, audiences and students”

Sherry: In a nutshell, yes.

Sherman JAMS showed an impressive first run with Doc Severinsen (age 90) at last year’s event. This year, you’ve booked Carl Fischer.** How are you pulling off booking these talented jazz musicians to come to our neighborhood?

Robert: The credit goes to two people. Last year and this year, Bill Collins who is an alumnus and avid supporter of the One O'Clock Lab Band, and a longtime professional musician, worked with Alan Baylock. Alan is director of the UNT One O'Clock Lab Band. Alan and Bill worked to identify and secure musicians for the Sherman Jazz Classic.

They both have great relationships throughout the musical world and provide this outstanding musical opportunity for residents of this area. Bringing Carl Fischer to Sherman really represents bringing the best of the best here. A talented trumpet player, Fischer has played with Billy Joel who says that "the crowd goes nuts" when he plays. Just like last year was a unique opportunity with Doc, hearing Carl Fischer is something that no one wants to miss.

How did you both become involved in the Sherman Jazz and More Society?

Sherry: Robert and I are involved with the Old Iron Post in downtown Sherman. We like music and the Old Iron Post frequently showcases live music including jazz. Because the Old Iron Post is in downtown, we were familiar with the Sherman Jazz Museum and what all it has to offer. In particular, the Jazz Museum has live Dixieland Jazz around every Mardi Gras. They book extremely talented bands.

This year, the N'Awlins Gumbo Kings out of Dallas played that event. We make it a habit to hear the Dixieland jazz at the museum each year and the Old Iron Post always follows with a Dixieland jazz band later in the evening. Because of this connection, we got to know Bill and Susan Collins who make the Sherman Jazz Museum go.

Bill and Susan have been involved with the Sherman Community Series and we all enjoy the musical opportunities provided by groups like the Sherman Symphony, Greater Texoma Jazz Orchestra, Austin College, and Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Over time, we discussed things and decided that we would like to try to bring additional musical opportunities in the area and that led to us organize the first Sherman Jazz Classic, and ultimately, Sherman JAMS.

Are you seeing more participation this year?

Robert: Yes. Initially, it was Sherry and I working with Bill and Susan Collins. Now our Board of Directors of the nonprofit include not only the four of us, but also Dr. Tristan Eggener of SOSU, Chris Dickson of Durant High School, and Dr. Philip Pitts of Sherman. We certainly anticipate interest to build and others joining the effort.

It appears that you are a rolling stone gathering jazzy moss. What are your future plans?

Sherry: As you indicate and we have previously discussed, we are beginning to grow and get others involved, and we hope that continues. As discussed, we intend to say from the stage this year, "Welcome to the second annual Sherman Jazz Classic!" We hope it will continue and grow, and we plan to increase our involvement with music in this area in the coming years. Over time, we would like to expand the opportunities for local musicians, like the Three River Jazz, to perform as a part of the Jazz Classic and in connection with other events sponsored by Sherman JAMS.

Was last year the first yearly presentation of a Sherman Jazz Classic for your organization?

Robert: Yes, and we very specifically announced from the stage that it was the "first annual Sherman Jazz Classic". It was always our hope that it becomes an annual event.

This is a new yearly event for Grayson County. How much time is involved so far in preparation for this event?

Sherry: The preparation begins more than one year ahead of the event in order to secure Kidd Key for the Saturday evening performance on the selected date. After that, the amount of time spent builds as the event approaches with each member of Sherman JAMS helping with various tasks to make the whole event come together. We have folks who are nice enough to volunteer to help put on the event.

Is this event having an effect on the international jazz scene?

Robert: Being that the event is in Sherman, Texas, I guess you might say it is having an effect on the international jazz scene if you consider Oklahoma to be another country…that is, by the way, a joke! Our goals are much more modest but still important. We want to promote the study, performance, and enjoyment of jazz and other forms of music in the area. We want to bring performances and learning opportunities to local musicians, audiences, and students.

How do you define a jazz clinic?

Sherry: A jazz clinic is a learning opportunity in which the featured artists from a performance share their history, musical philosophy and entertainment stories with those in attendance. There are a large number of jazz musicians at area high schools and colleges to which we were exposed at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University's annual Jazz Fest over the past several years; so we know they are out there. This is an outstanding opportunity for those musicians, and those who enjoy music, to hear from some of the best in the business. We are fortunate that distinguished music educators like Alan Baylock, director of the UNT One O'Clock Lab Band, are involved with the Jazz Classic. The Sherman Jazz Classic is a unique opportunity to hear from Alan and also to hear directly from outstanding musicians like Doc Severinsen last year, and this year, Carl Fischer.

Are either of you musicians and if so, what is your musical background?

Sherry: I assume you are not talking about talented musicians. If that is correct, then Robert enjoys singing in the church choir at First United Methodist Church in Sherman. He has also been known to help lead Christmas carols at the Old Iron Post during the Christmas season and to sing with the occasional ragtag musical group. He also plays the gong during the annual performance of Christmas Thunder on the steps of the Grayson County Courthouse during which any interested performers joins the group to play the Christmas favorites. If you are looking for musical talent, Bill Collins is a very accomplished musician, as are the other three members of the Sherman JAMS board – Tristan Eggener, Chris Dickson, and Phil Pitts. We have selfish motives for being involved with Sherman JAMS because we enjoy listening to good music.

The Sherman Jazz Classic Details

I was amazed by the professional atmosphere presented to me by Robert and Sherry Little. Attendees can expect an exciting first-rate jazz experience at any of the Sherman Jazz Classic three-day shows.***

Online Information & Tickets

Sherman Jazz Classic Schedule

Friday, April 5, 2019


7:00 PM

Three River Jazz Featuring Victoria Cook
Dr. Tristan Eggener of Southeastern Oklahoma State University and his spectacular jazz ensemble


Old Iron Post
101 North Travis Street
Sherman, TX 75090

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Free: Limited free open seating.

3:00 PM

Jazz Clinic featuring Carl Fischer and Alan Baylock


Sherman Jazz Museum
201 East Lamar Street
Sherman, TX 75090

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Tickets: $15 to $25

7:00 PM

Carl Fischer and the One O'Clock Lab Band


Kidd-Key Auditorium
405 North Rusk Street
Sherman, TX 75090

Sunday, April 7, 2019


11:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Gospel Brunch with Three River Jazz Featuring Victoria Cook

Music begins at 11 AM

Brunch menu available from 10 AM - 2 PM,
regular menu available from 11 AM onwards...


Old Iron Post
101 North Travis Street
Sherman, TX 75090



* Alan Baylock is director of the One O’Clock Lab Band. With an unprecedented seven Grammy nominations (Lab 2009 received double nominations for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble” and “Best Instrumental Composition” for Ice-Nine composed by Steve Wiest) resulting from the library of over fifty critically acclaimed Lab Band recordings to date, the One O’Clock Lab Band is noted for exceptional individual musicianship and tight ensemble performance.

** Carl Fischer & T.Ë.T.I. is a tribute to the greats that postured as more than just trumpet players, but also as innovators in the music, styles and social movements that surrounded them. These are the trumpet icons that are recognizable even by only their first name. The ones you can recognize from the first note or phrase. They helped to create, and give identity to, musical genres and even crossed between them.

*** The three buildings hosting these events have extremely interesting histories. You can click their links to learn about them. 


1. Sherman Jazz Classic Logo
2. Alan Blaylock
3. Carl Fischer
4. One O’Clock Lab Band
5. Sherman Jazz Museum
6. Old Iron Post
7. & 8. Kidd Key Auditorium


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