September 9, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
WBGO says goodbye to Gerald Wilson, who died Sept. 8 at his home in Los Angeles, four days after his 94th birthday.
The trumpeter, bandleader and arranger played a key role in the development of West Coast and orchestral jazz over his 75 years as a professional musician. Fresh out of Detroit's Cass Technical High School in 1939, he joined Jimmie Lunceford's band and never looked back.
Based in Los Angeles, Wilson arranged for Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, and dozens of others, as well as his own large and small ensembles. In 1990, he was named an NEA Jazz Master, the nation's highest honor for a jazz musician.
Wilson visited WBGO many times over the years, and stopped by in 2003 for a heartfelt chat with Morning Jazz host Gary Walker, which we'd like to share with you again now.
Thank you, Gerald, we will miss you!
© 2014 WBGO
August 19, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
WBGO says goodbye to master violinist, teacher, folklorist, and dear friend John Blake, Jr., who passed away Aug. 15 at age 67 from the complications of multiple myeloma.
He is survived by his wife Barbara Blake, son Johnathan, daughters Beverly Blake Woodson and Jennifer Blake Watson, his two sisters Vivian Carson and Charlotte Blake-Alston, his two brothers Alan and Elliot Blake, and a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws and grandchildren.
The family thanks John's extended family of friends, students and admirers for their prayers and kind words.
John visited WBGO in 2010 to play and talk about his recording Motherless Child, which celebrated the history of African-American spirituals. We'd like to share this conversation and solo performance with you again now:
There will be a public viewing in Philadelphia on Sunday, August 24th at:
Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
7112 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19126
This will be followed by Going Home Services on Monday, August 25th at:
Sharon Baptist Church
3955 Conshohocken Ave.
Philadelphia, PA. 19131
Viewing: 9-11 a.m.
Service: 11 a.m.
© 2014 WBGO
July 1, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
A memorial service will be held Monday, July 7 at 7 p.m. for pianist and composer Horace Silver, at the Saint Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church at 290 Henry Street in Manhattan, NY, 10002.
Attire is casual, and the family requests flowers not be sent to the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to:
Horace Silver Foundation
20 Emerson Point
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Silver passed away June 18 at his home in New Rochelle from cardiac arrest.
Born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1928, Silver got his first big break in 1950. when saxophonist Stan Getz heard the pianist's group in Hartford and invited them on tour. Moving to New York in 1951, he recorded many memorable sessions for the Blue Note Records and remained with the label until 1980.
Silver, who was honored as an NEA Jazz Master in 1995, will be remembered for his soulful hard-bop performances and compositions, which include "Peace," "Song For My Father," "Sister Sadie" and "The Preacher."
WBGO says goodbye to this dear friend and master musician. Our condolences go out to Jemela, Greg, other family members and the countless others he touched over the years.
Thank you, Horace, and rest in peace!
© 2014 WBGO