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Published: Thursday, 3/18/2010

Jimmy Cook tribute raises scholarship funds


Note: The wrong date for this event was previously published. The correct date is Sunday.

No doubt Jimmy Cook would have loved what's going on Sunday at the Southbriar Restaurant in Sylvania.

A Tribute to Jimmy Cook wouldn't have excited the great Toledo jazz man because it's all about him. He was too modest for that.

But the fact that his beloved Toledo Jazz Orchestra is playing to raise money for young musicians' scholarships would have him beaming with pride, said his wife, Jan Cook.

“He would be very embarrassed. He was just a fantastic gentleman. When people came up and said how great he played, he'd say ‘Ah, come on,' that's just the way he was,” she said.

Jimmy Cook died in 2008 at the age of 78 after being diagnosed with cancer. The trumpeter was one of the city's most important jazz figures of the late 20th century and has long been associated with Toledo's music history.

He once played Miles Davis' trumpet, sat in with Charlie Parker, and played with Art Tatum. Cook was probably best known to Toledoans as a founding member of the Toledo Jazz Orchestra and as a regular at Rusty's Jazz Cafe.

Jan Cook said Saturday's event will feature the orchestra playing for 90 minutes, followed by an open-stage jam. Ragtime Rick and the Chefs of Dixieland will also play in the lounge at the Southbriar.

The event will be from 3 to 6 p.m. and will include a silent auction, light food, and a cash bar. Money raised from the event will contribute to a scholarship for a University of Toledo music student.

Jan Cook said that organizing the tribute is a way for her to honor her husband of 57 years.

“This helps me, I'm doing something for him,” she said.

The Southbriar is at 5147 Main St., Sylvania, and tickets are $10 at the door. Reservations are recommended. Information: 419-517-1111.

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