JESSE R. COLEMAN, 1956-2013

Jazz saxophonist was minister for several churches

Jesse Coleman, saxophonist.
Jesse Coleman, saxophonist.

Jesse R. Coleman, a saxophonist who performed with the JAMM band and at clubs and events in the Toledo area, died on Sunday in his home. He was 56.

Mr. Coleman, who lived in West Toledo, died from complications of hypertension and diabetes, family members said.

Mr. Coleman had been active in performing and promoting jazz and gospel music in the Toledo area for many years. He formed Affinity in 2004, which played at festivals, events, and clubs throughout the Toledo area.

With his current band, the JAMM, he crafted smooth jazz and contemporary jazz and was performing up until his death.

Sandy Harris, a guitarist who played several years with Mr. Coleman in Affinity, said he was a talented and dedicated musician.

“He was a hard-working musician. He was a fine saxophone player. He will be missed,” Mr. Harris said.

Mr. Coleman learned to play the saxophone at age 14 while he was in the band at Libbey High School.

His daugther, LaTosha Coleman, said her father and his brother, James, played the instrument in the marching band and accompanied the music during services at their church, Trinity Faith Tabernacle on North Huron Street.

“They played saxophone at home. They found they had a natural talent for it,” she said.

Mr. Coleman was born on March 24, 1956, to Jessie and Glorodeen Coleman. He graduated in 1974 from Libbey High School.

Ms. Coleman said her father went into ministry work after high school and held other jobs to support his family. She said he began as an associate minister at Trinity Faith Tabernacle and then became associate pastor in 1984 at Trinity Soul Saving Station on North Hawley Street.

A year later, Mr. Coleman then became an associate minister at Pinewood Tabernacle Church on Collingwood Boulevard.

He married the former Belinda McCormick on Feb. 28, 1976. They divorced in 1994.

Ms. Coleman said her father left Pinewood Tabernacle Church after he was divorced from her mother. However, he was ordained at Friendship Baptist Church.

Surviving are his daughters, LaTosha Coleman and Corinthian Coleman; sons, Jesse Coleman, Jr., JaQuan Coleman, Jason Coleman, and Alexander Chen; brothers, Leroy and James Coleman; sisters, Gloria Coleman and Gayla Coleman, and 11 grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in the Day Funeral Home.

Wake services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Friendship Baptist Church, followed by the funeral at 11 p.m.

— Mark Reiter