[Mrian MacPartland and I think Mary Lou Williams and Thelonious Monk in a cut out from the famous "A Great Day in Harlem" group shot of many of the living legends of jazz in 1958]
I know some important cultural figures have passed lately, like the great Irish poet Seamus Heaney and the great stage and screen actor Julie Harris (She was sometimes too precious for me, but I saw her do THE BELLE OF AMHERST on the Broadway stage and despite that play's misunderstanding of Emily Dickinson and its interpretation of her personality and character, Harris was still mesmerizing to watch, holding the stage alone and amazing)...
...but the passing of the two of them is getting a lot of attention in the media and among my Facebook friends and such, but I haven't seen anything marking the passing last week of Marian MacPartland who was one of my alltime favorite cultural figures.
The English born piano player was a giant of jazz, and as someone who played jazz piano as a young man and has some experience with the technical challenges I can honestly say she was one of the most talented pianists ever. But even more meaningful to me than her playing was her public radio show where she did duets with brilliant musicians and shared insights into their talent and matched them with her own.
She lived a long full life and gave the world so much more than most of us will ever be able to, I hope we never forget her legacy and her music and that those shows live on not just in musical history but for anyone who appreciates musical genius to learn from.
[...and of her talent:}