David ‘Fathead’ Newman (1933-2009)

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Taken On: March 30th, 2007

Taken At: The Jazz Cellar

David Fathead Newman passed away on January 20th, 2009 due to pancreatic cancer. He was a five time visitor to Vancouver appearing frequently with local musicians, Tilden Webb, Jodi Proznick and Jesse Cahill.

Two years ago I was contacted by an editor at Wikipedia and asked if I would allow my photo be used in David’s wikipedia entry. I had since forgotten about this but it was a pleasant and slightly humbling experience to visit the page today and see my photo.

Although I saw him play numerous times, and photographed him twice in Vancouver, I didn’t know him that well and only shared a few words around the Jazz Cellar but he was always was a warm personality on and off stage. While sitting next to him at the bar, someone asked him about his portrayal in the movie Ray, which was less then flattering. There was air of collective awkwardness after the question was posed, but his response was honest and humble. He replied that the portray was accurate. I can only hope to look back on mistakes in my past with that much acceptance one day.

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