|It saddens me deeply to hear of the passing of Mark Ledford. I became aware of Mark when I attended the Cork Jazz Festival in 2001. My girl friend Sarah and I went to see a midnight performance by Russell Gunn and we had to endure an uninspired opening by a band whose name escapes me. The leader introduced Mark Ledford who joined the band for four numbers. Mark electrified the entire room with his trumpet playing and vocalizing. Over the next two days Mark could be seen walking around downtown Cork taking in the sights wearing a "Mad Hatter" styled hat that brought a smile to everyone who saw him. When I got back to the states I bought his very-hard-to-find CD "Miles 2 Go". I consider myself very fortunate to have seen him in performance. What a talent! As Artistic Director of the Hartford International Jazz Festival (www.HIJF.com) I had put him on my list of jazz artists that I wanted to invite to the festival. Sadly, this will never happen. My condolences to his family.