Posted by: editoron Friday, October 28, 2005 - 01:15 PM
Jazz News Memorial to Jazz Great Illinois Jacquet
Dedication Ceremony and Concert at The Woodlawn Cemetery
Sunday, October 30 at 2 pm
On Sunday, October 30th, at 2 pm, the memorial marking the final resting place of tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet will be dedicated at The Woodlawn Cemetery. Dr. Eugene Callendar of St. James Presbyterian Church will lead the ceremony. Phil Schaap, Curator of Jazz at Lincoln Center, will recount his memorable interviews with the jazz great. After the monument is unveiled Victor Goines, Artistic Director of Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School, will lead a ten piece jazz band in a celebration of the music of Illinois Jacquet. The public is invited to attend: admission is free.
Jean Baptiste Illinois Jacquet was born on October 31, 1922 in Broussard, Louisiana and grew up in Houston, Texas where he developed his famous “Texas Tenor” sound. At age nineteen he burst onto the jazz scene when he recorded his explosive “Flying Home” solo with the Lionel Hampton Band, spawning an entirely new style for the tenor sax. His historic solo, “Blues Part II,” with Jazz at the Philharmonic, expanded the upper register of the tenor sax, creating a blueprint for subsequent generations of saxophonists. He played with Cab Calloway, Count Basie, and created a sting of hits with his own record breaking small band. He performed until his death on July 22, 2004.
Leon Rader, a Russian born sculptor who specializes in custom memorial art, was commissioned to create the memorial. His studio, Art in Stone, is in Colma, California. Rader has produced public war memorials, received awards for his unique works of art and recently created the memorial for journalist Daniel Pearl. The nine-foot monument features Rader’s life sized etching of an Arthur Elgort photo of Jacquet playing the saxophone.. The 15,000-pound memorial sits on a piano shaped base, made of polished black granite from India. According to Rader, “The idea was to create a sculpture that told the story of Illinois Jacquet’s love of his music, his appreciation of his fans and his spiritual beliefs. I used stone from India, a country that he loved to visit and designed a work of art to compliment the beauty and history of Woodlawn and the neighboring memorials to Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington.”
Following the unveiling ceremony, a ten-piece band will play some of the memorable arrangements Jacquet recorded with his “small band” in the 1940’s. Joining Victor Goines will be Joe Temperley, Michael Dease, Freddy Hendrix, Lee Hogans, Ed Stoute, Fred Hunter and students from the Juilliard School. Illinois Jacquet received an honorary Doctorate of music from Juilliard in May of 2004. Later that year, the Illinois Jacquet Scholarship in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School was established in his memory.
The Woodlawn Cemetery is located at Webster Avenue and E. 233rd St. and is easily accessible from Metro North, the Major Deegan, Bronx River Parkway and the IRT #4 Subway. For additional information and directions contact the Friends of Woodlawn at (718) 920-1469 or log onto www.thewoodlawncemetery.org