Soothing Tunes Hall Brings Upbeat Jazz Music to the Flint Area

BURTON, MI — Sheldon T. Banks is no stranger to running a business.

He owns several funeral homes in Genesee County.

But Banks started something very different: a jazz music venue called Soothing Tunes Room, located at 1408 W. Hemphill Road in Burton.

The new business opened on August 18.

Banks bought the Pachyderm Pub, a gay bar, and turned it into his dream business.

Related: Funeral home owner wants to turn Flint’s gay bar into a jazz club

“I’ve always had an acquired taste for jazz,” Banks said. “And I said that was something Flint needed. No rhythm and blues, rock or rap. Just jazz music.

Banks has owned Sheldon Banks Funeral Chapel since 2015 and Serenity Funeral Chapel since 2010.

Soothing Tunes Rooms has already seen a boom, with Banks saying he’s had to turn people away because of how busy it is.

Jazz fans traveled from as far away as Monroe to hear live jazz music at the new venue.

Musical artists sent Banks videos of their live performances, hoping to book a night to showcase their skills.

Banks traveled to Kansas City, New Orleans and Chicago to see live jazz clubs and knew the Flint area needed something similar.

His brother, Rathael Banks Jr., is a jazz bassist. He fell in love with jazz at the age of 9.

“I heard a song I liked by Najee and started to like jazz music,” he said.

Going from a funeral home owner by day to a live jazz club owner by night is exactly what Banks needed.

“From the hustle and bustle during the day, I said I needed a way to relax and unwind and play jazz all day,” he said .

Opening hours are from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Sunday.

“I also wanted to do something for the elderly,” Banks said. “They really have nowhere to go. I kept my schedule at 10 p.m. because I pay attention to the neighbors since we are in a residential area.”

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