Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Jackie Washington's 100th Birthday

Today (Tuesday, November 12, 2019) Hamilton blues/jazz legend Jackie Washington would have been 100 years old. We here at HBL would like to celebrate this incredible musician.

Biographical highlights (from Wikipedia)
Below (and at the top of the page) are paintings created by family friend Casey Parsons.



A word from Lou, our blogger.
I had the honour of meeting Jackie Washington while I was volunteering for the Winter Festival of Friends. Back then, I was just getting into Jazz and we had a wonderful conversation about that. We bumped into each other on a few more occasions and he always had a laugh and a smile for me. I'll always treasure my time with him.
Our blogger Lou (in his babyface days) on the left with Jackie. Pic courtesy of the Spectator's Free Press

We asked for more comments and stories from the public. We will post more as we get them. Here are a few:

I remember running the streets downtown with a pretty wild group of young teens in the late 70s - early 80’s. We would often get into minor dust ups with Jackson Square security and or chased around and roughed by a couple of Hamilton Police Officers know as “Starsky and Hutch". There was one man who could tame this pack of punks with a wave of his hand, his soft voice and a song. 
Jackie Washington was more often than not, on a nice day,  sitting on a Gore park bench with his guitar in hand and he would settle us down with a story or a song or both. I knew him as only Uncle Jack back then as he may have been distantly related to some of the kids because the Washington family was one of the larger ones in town. We all called him Uncle Jack and we treated him with the respect he deserved. 
Only years later when I became a musician myself and part of the music scene in Hamilton did I put two and two together and realize what a giant of a man Uncle Jack really was!
Jason R. Stewart  
He came to my school back in 1987 (when I was in Grade 8). He played the ENTIRE day to small groups of students (in rotation) where he played music and shared humorous, yet informative stories. This happened all those years ago, yet the memories of him playing had a profound effect on this little 14 year old! I was introduced to sounds I had not discovered until that day, and influenced me to create my own songs about life (and with a touch of humour!). It's amazing what moments from childhood stick out more than others. 

Paul Hill
I turned 60 in 2006. I was having a birthday party up in Elfrida and Jack de Keyzer and his band was the band I booked for the party. Jackie contacted and asked if he could attend. If course, I said yes! He told me he had never heard Jack play live! He came. Jackie thoroughly enjoyed himself and had a long chat with Jack. 
Ted Willey
I have many memories of this great man. Honoured to have worked with him over the years. A joyful spirit that brought happiness to everyone. He is truly missed!
Eudene Luther
Remembering him today for his beauty in all its manifestations and, most especially, for his passion for music and the guitar that he passed on to Brian (Griffith). Forever in our hearts. 

Blast from the Past: Jackie Washington Passes

Links: Jackie WashingtonMore Jackie Washington StoriesVideos above courtesy of  Bee-Sides RadioMore 100th Birthdays

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1 comment:

  1. He was very kind to me when I was considering dropping out of music. I was in a cover band and losing my self respect. He praised my spontaneity and stamina and I left the band soon after to get into playing reggae. I bless his soul.