Remembering a Jazz Legend

Recently, as I was traveling with my family, I got an opportunity to listen to a jazz music radio station on satellite radio. Jazz Trumpeter Terence Blanchard was playing a classic jazz piece and needless to say, it was enjoyable. He’s a wonderful artist that not many persons know outside of the jazz community. But it made me think of a situation several years back as my father and I attended a jazz concert.

Most trumpet players always have a favorite trumpet player they love to hear perform more than other musicians. My father always had a few like Dizzy Gillespie or Miles Davis. It helped him in that he knew them personally. And even though I had my own living, breathing professional trumpet player in house I also had my own favorite. For me it was the late, great Freddie Hubbard. The day he died hurt me like losing a family member because of the influence he had on me throughout the years. My father also appreciated his music, but nowhere near how I felt about him. I remember my father and me planning to see Mr. Hubbard in concert. He was coming to town to give a concert at my college alma mater. We both got ready and headed right out to the free event. I was really surprised when we were lead into a large classroom with a stage up front. Right away I remembered this was a lecture hall used for classes larger in size (sometimes able to hold 50 students or more). We sat near the back which in this case was about maybe seven rows from the very front. As we sat I wondered where Mr. Hubbard was warming up as I could not see a back stage. Still speaking to my father, I happened to glance just behind me and wow! There was Freddie Hubbard coming in carrying his trumpet case. “How are you guys doing tonight?” he asked as he passed by us. I looked at my father in disbelief. Did Freddie Hubbard just speak to us? “Fine, just fine” I answered. He went on to give a tremendous concert. I’m sorry Freddie Hubbard is no longer with us. I’ll never have one of those moments with him again. But it’s great we still have so much of his music for all the trumpet players to come.

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