The old saying goes that we all die twice; once when we take our last breath and then a second time when our name isn't spoken anymore. It is highly unlikely that the name of Wesley "Skip" Norris will vanish from the tongues of jazz devotees anytime soon. Especially not after the memorable and extraordinary sendoff that took place last Friday evening in Detroit. An advocate for jazz in so many ways throughout the past decades, Norris fostered a strong presence for the music through his work at the Jazz Café, Jazz at the Centre, and many other presenting outlets in Detroit. Before his untimely death in January, Norris had recently taken the reigns as a skilled associate to Gail Boyd and her jazz booking organization. Having made connections with so many jazz icons over the years, it was not surprising that a full lineup of artists donated their time and talent to pay tribute to Norris' legacy.
I've included several photos from his memorial concert at Detroit's Paul Robeson Performing Arts Theater on June 9, 2017.
Jazz is for me the most important cultural revolution of the 20th century and I'm proud to
play this kind of music. For me, jazz is more than a kind of music, it's the best way of playing
any musical material.