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Memorial Concert Honors Al Grey

The Second Annual Al Grey Memorial Concert will be held June 18 at the Franklin Hospital Medical Center. Before his death from diabetes-related complications last year, Grey (pictured left) planned on having a fundraiser for the Franklin Hospital Diabetes Program. Though Grey was unable to carry out his plans, friends and family fulfilled his wishes and held the first Al Grey Memorial Concert in April 2000. Performers included Grey’s son Mike, Frank Foster, Slide Hampton, Benny Powell, Norman Simons, Chip White, George Kaye, Joe Cohn, Don Sickler, Dean Pratt and Virginia Mayhew. Mike Grey will return for this year’s concert, which will also feature trumpeter Clark Terry.

Best known for his humorous improvisations and skilled use of the plunger, mute and hat on the trombone, Al Grey played on-and-off with Count Basie’s Orchestra from 1957 to 1977. His soloing with Basie’s Orchestra led to international recognition and identified him as one of the most inspiring soloists of the time. Grey also played with Benny Carter, Jimmie Lunceford, Lucky Millinder, Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton. Grey died March 24, 2000.

Musicians interested in participating in the concert can call Michael Grey at (212) 568-7385 or (215) 500-6082. Tickets are $10 and proceeds will benefit Franklin Hospital Medical Center Diabetes Care Program.

Originally Published