355px-Ornette-Coleman-2008-Heidelberg-schindelbeckPhoto: Ornette Coleman, Heidelberg Germany 2008.| Credit: Frank Schindelbeck. Via WikiCommons. Creative Commons licensed.

We’re passing on info on two separate NYC events via Kim Smith Public Relations and from Vision Fest organizers Arts for Art. Memorial events for the legendary saxophonist Ornette Coleman and percussionist Jerome Cooper have been announced.

You have probably already gotten the news that Coleman died on June 11th. The official memorial will likely be the first of many for Coleman, who leaves a huge musical legacy and whose influence lives on in many musicians.

Coleman’s legacy is also deeply tied to New York and the evolution of jazz through his involvement in the downtown loft scene and engagement at the Five Spot club among other things.

Coleman’s memorial service is Saturday June 27 at 11 AM at Manhattan’s historic Riverside Church: 490 Riverside Drive (between 121-122 Sts.). The standard advice for these events applies here: get there very early if you want to be sure of getting inside. As large as Riverside is, we’re guessing that it’ll still be inadequate to hold the multitudes of people wanting to say a final goodbye to the man whose music was so influential and, by all accounts, was incredibly thoughtful and generous in his personal life.

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A less-noted passing is that of percussionist Jerome Cooper, who died on May 6 in Brooklyn. Cooper was an active member of the avant garde jazz scene and is probably best known for his work with the Revolutionary Ensemble with violinist Leroy Jenkins and bassist Sirone.

Cooper’s memorial is scheduled for 7 PM on Tuesday June 30 at Roulette in Brooklyn: 509 Atlantic Ave (corner of 3rd Ave). It’s a short walk from the Atlantic Avenue subway and LIRR hub and should be familiar to Vision Fest attendees, since it’s where the event was held for the last two years. There are scheduled musical tributes by Thurman Barker, Tom Buckner, Cooper-Moore, bassist William Parker, multi instrumentalist Charles Gayle, Reggie Nicholson’s OGJB Quartet (Oliver Lake, Graham Haynes, Joe Fonda, Barry Altschul), drummer William Hooker, percussionist Adam Rudolph and others.

Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

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