St. Petersburg jazz musician teaches kids who can't afford music lessons

A local jazz musician is inspiring young people, one beat at a time.

Jazz musician Hiram Hazley and his trio often play at local nightclubs in St. Pete.

"Just love for it. I hear music and I just want to, you know, I want to get better," said Hazley. "I'm practicing at 66. You just keep practicing because it's so much to learn."

Hiram Hazley performs at local nightclubs.

He discovered his love for music while visiting his grandmother's house.

"I found a Miles Davis album, and I loved Miles Davis. I got into the music," Hazley said.

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After college at Bethune Cookman in Daytona Beach, Hazley came home and got a job at Busch Gardens.

"They needed somebody that played bass and trumpet and sang a little to have a full-time gig," said Hazley. "Getting a gig as a musician was really hard, and that was a full-time gig. So I auditioned for it and got it, and I worked there for 20 years."

Hazley discovered his love for music at his grandmother's house.

Hazley discovered his love for music at his grandmother's house.

For the past 34 years, Hazley has been teaching music to children who can't afford lessons, sharing what he has learned from other musicians.

"I get inspired by these young kids. But my real inspiration came from people like Tyrone Johnson and the childhood friends and these local bands. They were so good. George Taylor and all these guys, they were teachers. We got to listen to those guys and go back and try to do what they were doing, you know," Hazley explained.

He's been sharing his knowledge with 11-year-old Calvin Peoples for three years.

11-year-old Calvin Peoples is one of Hazley's students.

11-year-old Calvin Peoples is one of Hazley's students.

"When I first came here, we learned about chords and scales," said Peoples. "Like, all the diatonic scales and the diatonic chords in C major."

This is only the second lesson for 8-year-old Diamante Agurre.

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"What's fun about it is that I get to learn new things and then want to learn new things," said Agurre. "Then when I do use my guitar, it sounds better and better and better."

For Hazley, it's a way to unwind his mind after a tough day.

Hazley teaches 8-year-old Diamante Agurre how to play guitar.

"If you're having a bad day, and you go play your piano, or you play your trumpet or your bass or whatever that instrument is, that's going to take you out of that funk, and it works just like magic," Hazley said.

He's passing on his unique talent to the younger generation to keep the future of music alive. He's making a remarkable contribution to the music world.

If you would like more information about Hazley Music School, click here.