Celebration of Life for Tommy Banks to be held at Winspear on Wednesday
A memorial service for award-winning jazz musician and former senator, Tommy Banks, will be held in Edmonton on Wednesday, Feb. 14.
“This is a non-ticketed memorial service,” the Winspear said on its website. “Seating will be first-come-first serve, limited over-flow seating will be provided with live audio/video projection feed of the main stage.
“There will be an open jam session located in the Winspear lobby following the memorial. All are invited and welcome to participate.”
Banks passed away on Jan. 25 at the age of 81.
He was revered around the world as a pianist, conductor, arranger, composer, television personality and former senator. He’s been described as a national treasure and a jazz icon.
The Winspear is a significant venue for friends and family of Banks. The music legend helped launch fundraising efforts to build the performance hall nearly 40 years ago.
In 1980, Banks was the coordinator of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s Pops program.
Banks, along with a group of other stakeholders, began making inquiries into the feasibility of fundraising and constructing a new concert hall. In order to secure funding from various levels of government, the group had to prove that Edmonton wanted the new venue.
The Winspear Centre opened in 1997.
Since then, it has grown and evolved and now offers programming for different demographics, from a baby music box program, to Disney symphony performances and opportunities for seniors to play alongside the professionals, and is now working towards an expansion project.
— With files from Global’s Quinn Ohler
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