I N - T H I S - I S S U E :
In Memory of Judge Myron Wahls
a long bout with cancer, Judge Myron "Mike" Wahls passed away
on November 24, 1998. He was lauded in local
newspapers for his contributions as both a lawyer and as a pianist.
SEMJA recognized Wahls in October of 1997 as a Detroit Legend of Jazz.
We also had the pleasure of hearing him play with his trio. His great
spirit in the face of adversity was evident at that event and in his
many community activities. His record, You Be The Judge,
with Marion Hayden on bass and George Davidson on drums, has sold very
well with the proceeds going to cancer research.
In an interview
with Michael G. Nastos in the October 1997 SEMJA UPDATE, Wahls reminisced
about growing up in Rushville, Indiana, where he started on the piano
at home. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan he often
played at fraternity parties and at one time with Detroit tenor legend
Wardell Gray. He continued public performances while in Law School at
Northwestern in Chicago and in 1961 moved to Detroit. He told Nastos:
"I thought the scene was stimulating. I played with Eli Fountain, the
alto saxophonist. I've always been impressed with the number and
caliber of first-rate jazz musicians here in Detroit." In the
eighties his jazz career picked up when he had a chance to travel with
Lionel Hampton. He will be missed as a great human spirit and an eloquent
spokesman for the music we call jazz.