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Memorial to Jazz Pianist Art Tatum Takes Form in Impressive Sculpture

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The brilliant jazz pianist, Art Tatum (1909-1956) is being honored by his hometown of Toledo, Ohio with an impressive sculpture that will be unveiled in the Fall of 2009.

For years the Toledo community has been discussing ways to honor its favorite son.

A renowned sculptor and jazz enthusiast from San Francisco, Cork Marcheschi, was selected to create a fitting tribute that will be completed in October of 2009, the date of the 100th anniversary of Art Tatum's birth.

It is a 27-foot spiraling tower made of black and white stainless steel and glass depicting the 88 keys of the piano. It will be lit from the center at night and will be located in a plaza outside Toledo's soon to be completed Downtown Arena.

Information about the project as well as images of the proposed sculpture can be found at arttatummemorial.org.

The arts community is in the midst of a campaign to raise funds to construct the impressive sculpture. Another native Toledoan, Jon Hendricks, the father of “Vocalese" is the Honorary Chair. Its focus will be local, national and international.

This effort is being conducted in partnership with the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, City of Toledo, Toledo Jazz Society, Toledo Sculptors Guild and the City of Toledos Board of Community Relations.

About Art Tatum

Art Tatum's extraordinary talent was defined by his rapid technique, harmonic concepts and extensive chord arrangements, considered to be 30 years ahead of his time. Tatum's quick reflexes and boundless imagination created improvisations that have continued to influence and entertain both musicians and audiences for decades.

Tatum's brilliant playing remains unparalleled and highly influential. One of the greatest compliments that Art Tatum received in a career full of praise was from classical composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, who upon hearing Tatum play, claimed him to be the greatest pianist in any style!



“...the column creates movement, dynamism, and a bending of reality, this I feel is an excellent metaphor for what Art Tatum did to the keyboard." --Cork Marcheschi, Artist

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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