Did you know that Arizona produced one of the most celebrated and talented jazz musicians of the twentieth century? Celebrate International Jazz Day at Pueblo Grande Museum with a special presentation on Pima Jazz – The Life and Musical Legacy of Russell ‘Big Chief’ Moore by J. Andrew Darling on April 27 at noon.
Discover the fascinating career of the late Russell ‘Big Chief’ Moore, an influential jazz trombonist and Gila River Indian Community member. Moore’s career includes performances with Lionel Hampton, Papa Celestin, Frank Sinatra, and Billie Holiday. Andrew Darling traces Moore’s journey from Gila Crossing to playing with Territorial bands in the Jim Crow South, Big Band's in Los Angeles, New York, and Kansas City and the Louis Armstrong All-Stars throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia. Darling will share unpublished images, videos, and sound clips of this important O’odham jazz musician and activist for Native Americans in the popular arts.
In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication.
This presentation is free and open to the public.
Photo is of Big Chief Russell Moore from 1949. Courtesy of J. Andrew Darling.