Jaco Pastorius Park is home to the City’s signature events such as the annual Oktoberfest celebration, Polynesian Cultural Festival, Holiday Village, Culinary Arts Showcase series, Moonlit Movie and the Urban Farm Institute. The public promenade at the Oakland Park Main Street entrance to Jaco Pastorius Park features an arched fountain creating a “walk under water” experience and illuminated with colorful lights at night.
About Jaco Pastorius III - In 2007, the City named its new downtown park in honor of former Oakland Park resident Jaco Pastorius (1951-1987). John Francis Pastorius III (“Jaco”) is known amongst many in the music industry as the “The World’s Greatest Bass Player.” His tremendous skill on the bass guitar was matched only by his skill as a composer.
Jaco grew up in Oakland Park and attended Northeast High School.His innovative techniques and challenging compositions forever changed the landscape of jazz and rock music. Jaco taught the bass guitar as an adjunct instructor in the University of Miami's Jazz Department.
In 1974, Jaco began playing with his friend and later famous jazz guitarist, Pat Metheny. Jaco’s first album, produced by Columbia Records, entitled “Jaco Pastorius” (1976) was a breakthrough album for the electric bass. Many consider this to be the finest bass album ever recorded.
Jaco was invited to join the fusion band “Weather Report” where he made his indelible mark on jazz music with the Grammy-nominated band. He also played on four highly regarded albums with acclaimed singler/songwriter Joni Mitchell.
Note:This information was compiled with assistance from the Oakland Park Historical Society, the Ethel M. Gordon Oakland Park Library research desk and public records.