New mural honors local legend in Jackson


The city of Jackson is full of people who helped make the community what it is today.

If you walk downtown, you might notice some new bright colors thanks to a recent graduate.

Luke Snyder is here for you now with a look at how one artist is honoring a local legend.

What makes someone a local legend? For recent Western High School Graduate and Artist, Evan Struck, it’s someone who puts his heart and soul into the community.

And for his latest mural, Evan found just the right person to honor in Jackson: Jazz Legend Benny Poole.

I contacted Benny Poole, which I found out was a local Jazz legend. He’s 91 years old, he’s been playing in Jackson since he was 17. He grew up here in the city and has performed all over the nation and really made a lasting impact on the community.

Evan Struck, Jackson Mural Artist

For Benny Poole, his life’s work was always to help others thrive.

Now, those words sit forever in the heart of downtown.

But it wasn’t always an easy path. There was a time when he battled racism in the city and was denied food service due to the color of his skin.

He overcame it all by helping bring the community together through his music.

He even opened for Prince at the Michigan Theatre down the street back in 1981.

It’s that impact that Evan hopes can inspire his and generations to come.


“I think that was what really inspired me to create this mural and really just honor someone local, and I think if we can really all honor someone local within our communities, that a lot of cool things and great things will happen.”

Benny was not able to speak on camera due to current health issues.

But his family says the recognition means everything and they hope it inspires others in the community to give their heart and soul back into the city.

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