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Subject: Jerry Jumonville, Saxophonist (Rod Stewart, Doobie Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, et al.)

Dead at 78
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Date Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 11:54:30am

Jerry Jumonville (1941 - 2019)

There will be a Musical Celebration of the Life of Jerry Jumonville and Second Line on Saturday, Dec. 21 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM at Buffas Bar and Restaurant 1001 Esplanade. Jerry (Jerome Noel) Jumonville, b. December 5, 1941 died December 7, 2019 in New Orleans. He was a master musician, friend, and mentor. I often thought of Jerry as the best sax player no one ever heard, but soon discovered how wrong I was.

After outgrowing his native New Orleans, he moved to California and played on many famous recordings including Rod Stewart's, Tonight's the Night. He recorded and arranged for artists such as Ringo Star, Van Morrison, the Doobie Brothers, the Beach Boys, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Ricky Lee Jones, Nicolette Larson, Dusty Springfield, Dave Mason, Duane Allman, Johnny Rivers, Rodney Crowell, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Joe Turner, Gatemouth Brown, Freddie King, and Delaney and Bonnie.

He appeared in the rock documentary Festival Express, made television appearances on Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, and played on, arranged, and appeared in Bette Midler's movie, The Rose, for which he earned a gold record. So I now think of Jerry as the greatest sax player whose name most people do not know. On some level that's a shame.

He loved jazz. Had Jerry been born two decades earlier–in the heyday of jazz swing–he may have been considered one of the titans of the saxophone. Jerry was a musical prodigy, but he was also approachable, dapper, and kind. He encouraged and mentored many younger players, loved fully, and lived fully. He was married four times. Jerry made beautiful music, unbelievably moving music. I find myself looking at this world, and thinking, no matter what the topic, that what the world needs is beauty. He filled the world with beauty and that beauty will be missed. But I hear his voice, vocal and musical "I love you." He loved us all and we loved him right back. And now he's gone. (Like I said, quirky!)

But let's give Jerry the last word. Here it is, accompanied by his irrepressible, endearing finger wag: Tee Naa Naay!

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