UAN RASEY WILL BE MISSED

I had never known anything about the late trumpeter Uan Rasey beyond noticing his unusual name in discographies — until my friend Marc Caparone told me about taking a lesson with Uan, what a remarkable person he was, how he emphasized something larger than “technique,” which was the making of beautiful sounds.  Through Doug Ramsey’s RIFFTIDES, I learned this morning that Uan had died, age 90.  You can read more about this unique man and musician here —

http://www.artsjournal.com/rifftides/2011/09/uan-rasey-rip.html

But I want everyone to read one short paragraph about Uan Rasey — proof of how special a man he was.  It’s a story told by Uan’s grandson:

When he was 89 years old, he learned that his seven-year-old granddaughter Taylor had no way home from school because her mother had been delayed. Rather than let her wait, possibly for a long time, he called Access Paratransit. Blind and in his wheelchair, he got into the Access van and traveled three miles to the school. When he got there, he wheeled himself into the school, found Taylor and took her home in the van. Then, when they got to the house he fixed her a meal, and when Taylor’s mom got home, she found the two of them partying, having a great time.

Uan Rasey was a beautiful sound in human form, and we could do him honor by remembering that story and trying to live our lives that way.

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4 responses to “UAN RASEY WILL BE MISSED

  1. Uan was the force behind the recent ambush of his friend, Jack Sheldon. Uan gathered together a band of fellow musicians who went to Jack’s home, serenaded him and got him into the yard for photographs- a bold, caring move for a friend who was having a difficult time in his life. Uan was a spectacular human being and I am sorry that I only knew him through his friends and never in person, a delightful pixie with a huge giving heart and a shining soul that sang in his music. He was a gift to the world that leaves us diminished.

  2. May he rest in peace with Goz and the Greats. A Giant.

  3. Uan must have been an extraodinary man…To leave memories like this in peoples minds would be wonderful…I’m sure he took all of those priceless assets with him to Heaven.

  4. I knew Uan through friends he knew at church, and met 19 years ago him while I was working. While on a forklift moving some heavy things in an out of a building door, my concentration was broken by someone behind me, clapping. There was an old guy in a wheelchair applauding and whistling! I got down and he introduced himself to me, and told me he appreciated the skillful job I was doing, and wasn’t that amazing. But applause? He told me he appreciated people who were skilled, who were good at what they did, artists. I had never seen myself as that before Uan. I got to know him much better after that, and in fact, he bought me lunch against my will just last January. He was the nicest guy ever, a tonic to be around, and is sorely missed.

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