Chicago: July 6, 2015, the Meade Legacy Society hosts a Memorial Celebration honoring the life of “The Jazz Griot” Donald E. Meade (12-8-28 – 5-22-15), 7 pm, at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S Plymouth Ct., Chicago, IL, featuring Master of Ceremonies - Richard Steele and Musical Director – Willie Pickens
The Griot emerged from West African traditions as a storyteller, historian, chronicler and keeper of the timeline. The Griot in short, remembers through word and song all of the important events and experiences of a particular community. The Griot holds sacred the collective memory of a community preserving it for future generations.
It has been a short time since the stormy weather when the death of the “Jazz Griot”, Donald E. Meade, swept over us as the giants of jazz continue to pre-decease our expectations.
Born in Joliet, IL and a longtime Chicago resident, Meade speaks fondly of growing up in the time ofDuke Ellington, Nat Cole, Pat Patrick, Louis Armstrong, Clark Terry, and many other pioneers and innovators of the day. Donald Meade is a Jazz Griot, a timeless treasure; a musician, writer, producer and historian; Mr. Meade has a seemingly ordained desire to “…stop the erosion of music in public schools specifically and the American public in general.” He said “this music is too important to take loosely.” For eighty plus years, his energy and enthusiasm was contagious and he enjoyed nothing more than sharing his knowledge with others. He was a life-long friend and confidant to many of the jazz legends and innovators, and traveled extensively with jazz giants such as Ed Thigpen, Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Cedar Walton, The Heath Brothers, Art Farmer, and Ella Fitzgerald, only naming a few.
His life paralleled the evolution of jazz music and culture. His love for music extended far beyond mere knowledge of facts and important figures. Meade’s re-telling of first-hand accounts has influenced jazz education.
The Donald Meade Legacy Foundation, has been founded upon the premise that the “story” is an essential part of Jazz education and that the storyteller or Griot creates a vital link between the music and life stories. His first voice stories embrace the social, political and cultural realities that shaped and created jazz truths. He has inspired and encouraged numerous jazz artists, and he was a steadfast advocate for jazz education, particularly for young people.
The Donald Meade Legacy Foundation seeks to recognize and celebrate those whose unique voices make the story of jazz music more complete.
An incomplete list of performing musicians includes:
Arthur Hoyle- trumpet
Ari Brown- saxophone
Miguel De Lacerna- piano
Orbert Davis- trupet
Charles Heath- drums
Ernest Dawkins- saxophone
Joan Callaso- vocalist
Marlene Rosenberg- bass
Marvin Sparks- drums
Willie Pickens- piano
Lenora Hammonds- vocalist
Treniece Robinson- vocalist
Cheryl Ash-Simpson- saxophone
Alexis Lombre- piano
Ernie Adams- drums
Robert Shy- drums
Marquis Hill- trumpet
Greg Artry- drums
And many more
The Donald Meade Legacy Foundation, a non-profit tax exempt organization, is committed to upholding and advancing the goals of the foundation. We encourage and ask that you make a contribution, monetary or in kind, to continue and advance the values and philosophy of Donald Meade. Make checks payable to:
The Donald Meade Legacy Foundation
P.O. Box 166
East Moline, IL 61244
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by Melvin Hawkins Added December 1, 2012 at 1:53pm