Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jazz Legend's Grandson Brings Band Honor

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jazz Legend's Grandson Brings Band Honor

Article excerpt

Byline: Ivette Yee, Times-Union staff writer

The grandson of musical legend Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham and one of Jacksonville's award-winning bands will pay tribute to jazz music during a concert next month.

To celebrate the first-ever "Jazz Appreciation Month" in April, the Smithsonian Institution has invited the Jazz Ensemble I band at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts to perform April 8 and 9 in Washington. DA band member Theo Croker is the grandson of jazz great Doc Cheatham, and like his grandfather, he plays the trumpet. He moved from his home in Leesburg to attend the arts high school.

Douglas Anderson is one of three schools nationally that will perform at the event. The others are Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington and Milwaukee School of the Arts.

The Smithsonian Institution's James Zimmerman said the Jacksonville school was chosen particularly because of Croker and his relationship to jazz royalty.

"Mr. Cheatham had a wonderfully long career in the music, lived through development of all the various styles of jazz and continued to grow as a musician throughout his career," Zimmerman said. "He collaborated with Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman and Benny Carter and was acknowledged as a leader and important contributor to the development of the music."

Last summer, the Smithsonian announced the launch of Jazz Appreciation Month to draw the public's attention to the glories of jazz as both a historical and living treasure. Legendary bandleader, producer and composer Quincy Jones made the announcement.

"I can only hope that one day America will recognize that our indigenous music -- jazz -- is the heart and soul of all popular music, and that we cannot afford to let its legacy slip into obscurity," Jones said in a press release for the event.

As part of the larger initiative, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra will critique each school band's performance and provide recommendations for improving their performance. …

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