NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— The Gospel is Alive Celebration as part of this year’s Jazz Fest was yet another reminder that the church’s music is alive and well in our city and this year’s festivities will also include a tribute to one New Orleans gospel star gone to rest.
On Tuesday night, the story of the great Raymond Myles will premiere in a full-length documentary from longtime friend and producer Leo Sacks called “A Taste of Heaven.”
Sacks, writer-producer and director of “A Taste of Heaven,” said Myles was an inspiring person.
“He came from the 7th Ward and from the St. Bernard Project, and he touched countless people in this city,” Sacks said. “He was just beginning to bring his message of hope and healing to the world.”
In addition to being a great gospel artist, Myles was also a dynamic piano player, and choir director, even working with kids in some of our high schools. Sacks first met Myles 40 years ago at his first jazz fest.
“On my first trip to New Orleans, I strode across Esplanade Ave. and the earth was literally shaking in the gospel tent,” he said.
Sacks went on to produce Myles only full-length CD, also called “A Taste of Heaven,” and took Myles on the road. The film also spends time talking about the struggles Myles faced both inside and out of the church due to his sexuality.
In 1998, Myles was shot and killed in New Orleans, and eventually, Sacks decided to tell his story, a story Myles knew would end.