Killeen man raises money for his family by playing jazz in Walmart parking lot

KILLEEN, TX – Driving through the Walmart parking lot on Lowes Boulevard in Killeen this week, you may have heard more than car engines and shopping carts. In fact, you’ve probably heard a compilation of jazz music.

That’s because Makalani Jones and her three children settled down to perform several songs in exchange for a smile or a tip.

“As a single dad,” Jones said. “I try to roll with the punches the best I can and get up and show my kids how to do it any way and be blessed anyway.”

Playing music is something Jones has been doing for over 30 years.

“Music is the universal language, and that’s what I was able to give to my middle and high school students, both in the group and in the choir,” he said.

Jones studied jazz at the University of New Orleans for five years. Then the student became the teacher, a music teacher that is.

He has taught music and choir at various middle and high schools, but was fired this year due to COVID-19.

“With the school closing, I was asked to come home like everyone else,” Jones admitted. “The rent was still due, the car bill still due, car insurance, etc. down the line. “

These were bills he couldn’t afford to pay. Now Jones and his three children are living at Motel 6 for Christmas.

“They are [his kids] don’t look for anyone to jump into the fireplace with gifts, ”he said. “So we are using this opportunity so that we can all be Santa Claus, earn money and create our own Christmas. “

It is the money donated by the community that keeps his family fed and under a roof.

“I try to stay happy because I know things can change in no time,” said his son, Makalani Jones, Jr.

“We thank you, we need you, literally to survive at this time,” followed Makalani Jones, Sr. “This is crucial.”

Ada J. Kenney