[members-announce] BILLY ROBINSON

Ron Sweetman ronsweetman at canada.com
Mon Aug 15 19:03:50 EDT 2005


It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of saxophonist, 
composer, bandleader, educator Billy Robinson in Ottawa on August 11, 2005, 
of a heart attack. Billy was born in Fort Worth, Texas on May 31, 1939. A 
big-toned tenor in the great Texas tradition, his early musical associates 
included John Carter, Ornette Coleman and Dewey Redman. Billy lived during 
the mid-sixties in San Francisco, and then moved to New York, where he 
worked with Charles Mingus 1969-1970, but unfortunately never recorded with 

Billy converted to Islam in the late 'sixties, and was a practicing Muslim 
for the rest of his life. He moved to Montreal when he married his first 
wife in 1970, but he was always ready to return to the United States for 
interesting gigs with his many musical friends. Their son Zurvan was born 
later in 1970. In 1974, he married Suzanne Cyr and in 1978 they moved to 
Ottawa. Again, apart from the occasional highly anticipated local gig, most 
of his work took him back to the States.

Billy's record debut was in January 1972, on Archie Shepp's Attica Blues, 
and in September of that year he recorded Evolution's Blend for Radio 
Canada International. In 1973 he appeared on Sadik Hakim's Grey Cup Caper. 
In 1991 he recorded Doubt Dropping, followed by A Short Turn to the Future 
in 1998.
In April, Billy recorded a new CD that will be issued later this year.

Everybody who met Billy was struck by his warmth, his openness, his honesty 
and, of course, his great musical skills and creativity.

Donations in memory of Billy Robinson can be sent to the Jamiatul Muslemeen 
of Ottawa Carleton, 572 Moody Drive, Ottawa K2H 6P6 (www.jamiomar.org) or 
to Amnesty International.

On August 17, Rabble Without A Cause will be devoted to the music of Billy 
Robinson. (11:00pm  midnight on CKCU-FM 93.1 or at www.ckcufm.com.)

On August 24, In A Mellow Tone will be devoted to the music of Billy 
Robinson. (9:00-11:00pm on CKCU-FM 93.1 or at www.ckcufm.com.)

Ron Sweetman.

More information about the members-announce mailing list