Tender tributes were paid to Kenny Wheeler at a memorial service held yesterday at St James’ church in Paddington.
The large church was full on a warm sun-lit afternoon, and many musicians took part in the two-hour service during which tributes were also paid by musical colleagues and friends including one by saxophonist Stan Sulzmann and by an emotional John Taylor.
Music performed included a beautiful piece of the late trumpeter’s, ‘Vital Spark’, Norma Winstone has written lyrics for and sang accompanied by pianist Glauco Venier, saxophonist Klaus Gesing, and bassist Jim Vivian. At the end after the London Vocal Project had performed music from Mirrors, a recording of the solo trumpet sound of Wheeler reverberated around the church stark and lovely.
Further memorials to Wheeler are to be held in Toronto and Paris, a reflection of Wheeler’s international renown, and of the great love and respect he inspired.