About Preston Love
Preston Love was born and raised during a North Omaha jazz boom. Love grew up playing jazz music around local venues like the Dreamland Ballroom, which also hosted artists like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong and the original Nat King Cole Trio. His big break came when he joined the Count Basie Orchestra at the age of 22, and from there, he went on to play in the bands of renowned artists like Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. Love traveled worldwide, headlining jazz festivals, touring with bands and fronting his own Preston Love Orchestra. With other local musicians like Buddy Miles, Anna Mae Winburn and Lomie Washburn, among others, Love helped make Omaha a destination for jazz from the 1920s to the early 1960s.
Our mission is to preserve, promote and present African-American art and jazz. We offer comprehensive African-American art exhibits and live jazz performances, and we also are dedicated to cultural and historical preservation of African-American contributions. This is a place for students to learn about jazz and the contributions of Omaha’s own legendary jazz musician Preston Love, Sr., along with others who made an impact on the world of jazz from the corner of 24th and Lake Streets in North Omaha.
Love’s Jazz and Art Center was born of a revitalization effort in North Omaha, Nebraska, in June 2005. With help from community leaders and the City of Omaha’s Planning Department, a historic building was renovated to become the community’s first fine arts museum and gallery with performance arts capability.