This Sunday, November 9th at 7pm, a memorial service will be held for the late trombonist Jimmy Knepper at Saint Peter's Church on West 53rd Street. Knepper passed away on June 14, 2003, at the age of 76. His wife, Maxine, has requested that donations be made to the New School University Jazz Program in hopes of starting a scholarship in Jimmy's memory.
A native Californian, Knepper learned to play trombone as a small child, beginning in the late '40s and into the early '50s with bands led by Charlie Barnet, Woody Herman and Claude Thornhill. Later in the 1950s Knepper worked extensively with Charles Mingus, and also with Art Pepper and Stan Kenton. In the '60s Knepper returned to work with Mingus, as well as with Benny Goodman and Gil Evans.
In the 1970s Knepper became a member of the nine-piece band led by Lee Konitz and also worked with the Mingus Dynasty. He made several records under his own name, including Cunningbird, which featured such distinguished jazz musicians as Al Cohn, Roland Hanna and Richard Davis. A virtuoso performer, Knepper's remarkable technical dexterity allowed him to develop solo lines of startling ingenuity and imagination. In the 1980s, he was active in the United States and Europe, renewing interest among older fans and finding a new audience for his exceptional talent. At this time, Knepper was also a faculty member at New School's Jazz & Contemporary Music Program.
Donations in Jimmy Knepper's name may be sent to:
Jazz & Contemporary Music Program
55 West 13th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011