The memorial service for the recently departed Randy Weston, held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, was nothing short of inspirational
By Dawoud Kringle
Music was performed. Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Ensemble paid tribute to their departed founder and leader. Every note, every stroke on a drum was a tribute to the master musician.
Dozens spoke, sharing their thoughts and anecdotes about how Weston touched their lives, and how his mission of bridging jazz with its African roots held an indispensable place in the history of music. Thousands attended, and while there were expressions of humor and good cheer, it was clear that the sombre and respectful mood was the dominant emotion.
We lost a great man. One of Weston’s grandsons said that he was a man who, if you met him for five minutes, he was part of your life forever. The Cathedral was filled with people who could bear witness to this (myself included). How many others are scattered around the world who could say the same of him?
Weston was a fine example of what a musician and a man should be.
In keeping with the African traditions he loved, Weston had often spoken about the Ancestors. Now he is an ancestor.