Yesterday was a fitting tribute to the life of the much loved and inspirational jazz musician, composer and educator Abram Wilson.
It was a day full of smiles, laughter and fond memories which reflected the many different aspects of Abram's life. We brought a bit of New Orleans to London with a beautiful and uplifiting procession led by Kevin Robinson and Karen Gibson involving the Maria Fidelis Choir and many of the musicians with whom Abram worked during the ten years he resided in the UK.
Wynton Marsalis and some of his band members from Jazz at Lincoln Center turned up at the last minute and helped to ensure that the day was firmly rooted in the traditions of Abram's hometown.
Thank you to Team J-Bram for helping with all the behind the scenes bits including donning those rather fetching hi-viz jackets on the day, John Langley and the team at the National Theatre for being amazing and enabling the procession to cut right across the South Bank, the lovely police officers who stopped traffic for us, Abram's sister Hannah, Pia Furtado and Anthony Welsh for their moving readings, and the musicians and the choir for all their hard work leading up to the big day.
A very special thank you goes to Kevin Robison and Karen Gibson who despite their hectic schedules pulled out all the stops to make the day truly memorable. Thank you to Abram's band members, Alex Davis on double bass, Dave Hamblett on drums and Reuben James on piano for being there and playing Abram's music, we could hear him singing and playing his horn with you.
And finally, a BIG thank you to everyone who attended and ensured we celebrated Abram's life in style.
You are all awesome and I couldn't have done it without you.
There's also a great video posted by Mr Marsalis' team of them playing in the second line parade (protected by our fab 'WHO DAT!' umbrellas!):