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Hartford Changemakers

Black, Latinx, and Indigenous leaders in Hartford History

Jackie McLean


Jackie McLean (1931-2006) 

Jazz alto saxophonist, composer, educator

McLean was an internationally known jazz alto saxophonist, composer, and educator. He influenced thousands of youngsters through his Artists Collective programs and his jazz programs at the Hartt School. Attend a jazz concert in Hartford and you are likely to find one of his protégés on the bandstand. He grew up in Harlem's Sugar Hill neighborhood, and his first recording was "Dig" with Miles Davis in 1951. He played with Charles Mingus, Art Blakey, and Freddie Redd. His style was inventive, with irregular phrasing, and blues intonations. He battled addiction early in his career. He came to Hartford in 1970, and helped to start and direct Hartt's department of African American music in 1980, now called the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz. With his wife Dollie, he brought notable musicians and performers to support their Artists Collective, which was founded in 1975. At the Artists Collective, students and adults can learn about African culture, health issues, dance, theater and visual arts. More than 1000 family members, friends and musicians attended his funeral at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, the place he received his first saxophone as a boy.

Jazz saxofonista alto, compositor, educador

McLean fue un saxofonista, compositor y educador de jazz de renombre internacional. Influyó en miles de jóvenes a través de sus programas Artists Collective y sus programas de jazz en la Hartt School. Asista a un concierto de jazz en Hartford y es probable que encuentre a uno de sus protegidos en el quiosco de música. Creció en el vecindario Sugar Hill de Harlem, y su primera grabación fue "Dig" con Miles Davis en 1951. Tocó con Charles Mingus, Art Blakey y Freddie Redd. Su estilo era inventivo, con frases irregulares y entonaciones de blues. Luchó contra la adicción al principio de su carrera. Llegó a Hartford en 1970, y ayudó a comenzar y dirigir el departamento de música afroamericana de Hartt en 1980, ahora llamado Instituto de Jazz Jackie McLean. Con su esposa Dollie, trajo notables músicos e intérpretes para apoyar su Colectivo de Artistas, fundado en 1975. En el Colectivo de Artistas, estudiantes y adultos pueden aprender sobre la cultura africana, los problemas de salud, la danza, el teatro y las artes visuales. Más de 1000 familiares, amigos y músicos asistieron a su funeral en la Iglesia Bautista Abisinia en Harlem, el lugar donde recibió su primer saxofón cuando era niño.

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