This section two memorial booklets in honor of Geri Allen. The first is titled Remembering Geri Allen, 1957-2017 and published at the Feminist Theory and Music (FT&M) conference.
The second is the program for the memorial service held for Geri Allen by the University of Pittsburgh on November 4, 2017. Click here to go directly to the UPitt memorial booklet.
Introduction to Remembering Geri Allen, 1957-2017
During the weeks following Geri Allen’s unexpected passing in June 2017, Ellie Hisama and Sherrie Tucker wanted to organize a memorial celebration at the 14th biennial Feminist Theory and Music (FT&M) conference, to be held at San Francisco State University the following month. Courtney Bryan and Yoko Suzuki, who both worked with Geri, helped to issue invitations for memorial statements and to plan the event. We gathered twenty-four remembrances from Geri’s friends, colleagues, fellow performers, students, and admirers, and published the booklet Remembering Geri Allen, 1957-2017.
We distributed the booklet at the memorial gathering, which took place on the last evening of the conference. Three performances and a workshop at the conference— by Margaret Lucia (Contemporary Piano Works by Women in Spain), Nicol Hammond (Occupying Sonic Space: Protest Song in the USA and South Africa), and the band Mary Lou’s Apartment with co-leaders Mwamba Blakwomyn and Patricia Mullan—were all dedicated to Geri.
Seven conference members read selections from the tributes. An accompanying slideshow included photos of Geri with several of the contributors as well as footage taken by George E. Lewis when Geri was in residence at Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies in 2008. We showed a remarkable excerpt of a masterclass with Geri and Courtney working at the piano.
We warmly acknowledge the work of Tami Albin, who designed and formatted the booklet in record time, and Yulanda McKenzie, who digitized the video footage. We thank FT&M Conference Director Dee Spencer and Program Committee Chair Annie Randall for making space on the program for the memorial celebration. We are grateful to the following people for their words offered in tribute to a remarkable and brilliant musician, scholar, teacher, and person.
- Courtney Bryan, Ellie Hisama, Yoko Suzuki, Sherrie Tucker
- Booklet Editor
- Ellie Hisama
- Booklet Designer
- Tami Albin
- Courtney Bryan (Tulane University)
- Maxine Gordon (The Dexter Gordon Society)
- Farah Jasmine Griffin (Columbia University)
- Mark Gross (New Jersey Performing Arts Center)
- Rev. Dr. William Howard (Bethany Baptist Church)
- Vijay Iyer (Harvard University)
- Aaron J. Johnson (University of Pittsburgh)
- Robin D. G. Kelley (University of California at Los Angeles)
- Tammy Kernodle (Miami University)
- Dorthaan Kirk (Bethany Baptist Church and the Jazz Vespers Committee)
- George E. Lewis (Columbia University)
- Mark Miller (Toronto)
- Jason Moran (New York, NY)
- Linda May Han Oh (New York, NY)
- Imani Owens (University of Pittsburgh)
- Kassa Overall
- Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. (University of Pennsylvania)
- Deane Root (University of Pittsburgh)
- Susan Rosenberg (Erroll Garner Jazz Project)
- Ellen Rowe (University of Michigan)
- Yoko Suzuki (University of Pittsburgh)
- Craig Taborn (Brooklyn, NY)
- Greg Tate
- Chloe Wieczorek (Sunburst School of Music)
- Brandee A. Younger (New York, NY)
- Vanessa Blais-Tremblay (Montréal)
- Maya C. Gibson (Columbia, Missouri)
- Ellie Hisama (New York)
- Tracy McMullen (Brunswick, Maine)
- Dee Spencer (San Francisco)
- Yoko Suzuki (Pittsburgh)
- Sherrie Tucker (Lawrence, Kansas)
The University of Pittsburgh held a Memorial Service for Geri Allen on November 4, 2017. We thank Deane L. Root, chair of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Music, for sharing the memorial program with us.