Jazz Community Pays Tribute To Behind-The-Scenes Icon
A woman who spent decades behind the scenes as a mover and shaker in the jazz world was bid a fond farewell thursday with a special tribute concert at jazz at lincoln center. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed this report.
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Phoebe Jacobs hated funerals but she loved parties.
So a who's who's of the jazz world gathered thursday at Jazz at Lincoln Center for a celebratory concert to say goodbye to the queen of the jazz scene who died on April 9 at the age of 93.
"She loved being around happy, joyful, beautiful people," said Susan Devens, Jacobs' daughter. "Everyone here today is so filled with love that I feel it is a love in for her."
Those in attendance showed their love with words and music. Among the speakers and performers were Jon Faddis, Stanley Crouch, George Wein, Mercedes Ellington, Bobby Sanabria, Jimmy Heath and Wynton Marsalis.
"She always brought the soul and the feeling of the music," Marsalis said. "She was like another musician."
Jacobs didn't sing or play. Instead, Jacobs started out as a hat check girl at a night club. Over time, she worked as publicist and confidant for the biggest names in jazz including Duke Ellington, Sara Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong.
I never saw my mother as a celebrity," said Jerry Fella, Jacobs' son. "To me, she was my mother. "She happened to know some important, fun people along the way.
Even in her nineties, with most of her contemporaries already gone, Phoebe was still a mover and shaker on the music scene. She was often out until the wee hours of the morning catching the late set.
I got to know Phoebe well over the years covering jazz for NY1 and she was always helping promote the music and musicians she loved.
"She was definitely a force and i think jazz was all the better for it," said Faddis.
In true New Orleans style, after the concert, there was a second line.
Jacobs loved celebrations. Often they were for her celebrity friends. Phoebe, this one was all for you.