On February 21, 2021, the ATG presented a Memorial to Jeff Lisenby hosted by ATG President Mary Anne Covone. Over 100 people attended the live zoom event. It was a very emotional tribute to Jeff including photos of his career and family, videos by Jeff and friends.
Jeff Taylor, his prayer partner and musical friends for over 30 years offered a prayer for Jeff. He said, “ Our relationship was fraternal, never competitive, I paid for my first accordion with Jeff’s gigs that he gave me.” Jeff Taylor performed his emotional composition, “Elegy for Dr. Jeff”.
Jeff’s relatives, friends and musical colleagues offered moving tributes to him. I wish I had had the good fortune to meet him in person.
Joanne Cochran Sommers was his teacher. She said, “He was always prepared for his private lessons. He could read, had perfect pitch, and always listened to all kinds of music, and played all kinds of instruments. He helped everyone, and took all jobs, even while going to school. He was a music director, conductor, accordionist for many individuals. Jeff was a kind person his whole life, one great musician, a fine and gentle person. I respect and love him and will miss him.”
Among the many videos included are his accompaniment of his daughter singing at ATG 2003, 2014 Jazz Trio, trailer footage of “Ring of Fire” which Jeff conducted on Broadway, plus much more.
His daughter, Jaclyn Lisenby Brown, said, “Thank you to everyone who attended the Zoom memorial for Jeff Lisenby . Special thanks to AtG for organizing it, Mary Ann Covone Carden for hosting, and to Jeff Taylor, Joan C. Sommers, Jane Christison, Liz Finch, Mark Weston, Cindy Brown, and Tarryn Smith Wallin for speaking.
In case you missed it, highlights included:
- My 91-year-old grandmother telling other people they look old
- Jokes about Tupperware
- an orchestra of accordions playing “MacArthur Park”
We’re still planning to have an in-person jam session to celebrate Dad’s life sometime this spring. Watch for more info soon.”
Learn about the amazing life of Jeff Lisenby. See the above video.