Following a succession of deaths in the top ranks of jazz, it is a pleasure to tell you about an elderly musician who is getting attention because he is alive.The veteran rhythm guitarist and teacher Lawrence Lucie has passed the century mark. Here is an excerpt from today’s New York Times story about Lucie.
On the eve of his 100th birthday on Monday night, Mr. Lucie, sitting in a wheelchair, could not go 20 seconds without receiving an embrace, a pat on the back or a handshake from one of the many jazz connoisseurs gathered at the offices of the musicians’ union in Midtown Manhattan. The well-wishers were there to pay homage to his legacy.
And it is quite impressive.
He is the last living person to have performed with Duke Ellington at New York’s legendary Cotton Club. He played with Benny Carter at the Apollo Theater in 1934, the year it opened its doors to black customers. He played with Louis Armstrong for several years and was the best man at his wedding.
To read the whole thing, go here.