Now that he was strangely left out in the latest Grammy Awards “In Memoriam” segment to make way for pretty dull and lacklustre performances by so-called top acts, the one and only Mark Murphy will be celebrated on March 14th, which would have been his 84th birthday. Mark died last year on October 22nd and was, by the way, nominated for a Grammy six times.
The Memorial Concert Celebration will take place at the Sanctuary at Manhattan’s St. Peter’s Church and there will be a lot of special guests as speakers and performers, great people who have accompanied Mark during his life. I had the chance to interview him several times – he came to Berlin relatively often in his last years and did some unforgettable shows in town. Scheduled to appear at this special event, among many others: Sheila Jordan, Alan Broadbent, Tessa Souter, Carol Fredette, Ronny Whyte, Giacomo Gates, Nancy Kelly, Roz Corral, Richie Cole, Kurt Elling, Annie Ross, The Royal Bopsters, Jay Clayton, Sean Smith, James Gavin, Michael Bourne, and Will Friedwald.
Jean-Pierre Leduc, who was Mark’s last manager, and impresario Ari Silverstein co-produce this event. In a statement, Silverstein said: “We wanted to make Mark’s first birthday since his passing a memorable one, an evening worthy of the man himself. There is a distinct line between those considered artists and those who are considered innovators. Mark was the latter, pushing boundaries and the standards for the sub-genres of jazz, for example his inclusion of poetry, book readings, highly original scat solos or his own lyrics. Everything Mark touched he truly made his own.”
The reception starts at 6pm and the concert is scheduled for 7pm on March 14th at St. Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue.