Kenn Cox at Baker's during the summer of 2007. (Photo: W. Kim Heron)
Detroit’s jazz community mourned the loss of pianist and musical activist Kenn Cox on Saturday — even as folks celebrated his life. Years ago, percussionist-composer Francisco Mora Catlett dedicated a piece titled “The Cultural Warrior” to Cox. It was more than apt.
The crowd of mourners overflowed the sanctuary at St. Matthew’s-St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Detroit where the service included a performance of the Jazz Mass that stands as one of Kenn’s major projects. During the family hour before the service, Detroit poet Melba Boyd read this tribute, which she has graciously shared with us:
Working It Out
“A lot of people have died for this music
,” Kenn Cox
linked like dominoes
this dialogue occurs
with Kenn Cox
suites on piano
or as Guerrilla Jams
engaging a dystrophic
as night falls
on dim streets
at high altitudes
at the keys
—melba joyce boyd
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