Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Remembering Abbey Lincoln

Real Art Ways ParkArt Program
Day Park/Parkville
Hartford, CT

We learned Saturday of the passing of Abbey Lincoln. 

I will leave the work of assessing Ms. Lincoln's ouevre and impact to others.  It is worth noting that Abbey was an essential link in a singular strand in the music: Billie Holiday - Abbey Lincoln - Jeanne Lee.  Do take a moment to reflect on the time period/scene/community that spawned Ms. Lincoln and another recent loss, Bill Dixon, and a host of others who (trans)formed (a distinctive wave in the) music that has nourished many of us, listeners and artists alike. 

The recent passing of my mentor/colleague/friend Bill Dixon has brought home the lesson that work is often the best way to encounter and move through grief.  And so,  I am keeping very busy these days.  

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in Hartford's Day Park, making recycled drums and teaching neighborhood children one of Abbey Lincoln's songs, The Music is the Magic.  They loved her music and I believe Abbey would have loved to hear the children singing her words.  Tomorrow, Rick Rozie and Billy Arnold will join us to perform this work for family and friends at Real Art Ways

"the music is the magic
of a secret world,
a secret world, 
a secret world.
the music is the magic 
of a secret world.
it's a world 
that is always within."

-Abbey Lincoln

images by Meghan F. Quinn for Real Art Ways

1 comment:

randaj2 said...

Lovely... thank you. You are one of the reasons I miss Hartford. And please tell Rick Rozie that I remember talking with him years ago with my old friend Russ Newton, and have great memories of that night. Thank you again Stephen.
Rene Jalbert