The Jazz Legacy of Jim Pepper: An American Original

“Here was something truly American…” » courtesy of photographer Ron Schwerin

with 5 comments

This photo was originally an alternate shot for the Comin’ and Goin’ album. It became the “official” publicity portrait in Pepper’s PR kit


5 Responses

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  1. I was in a Jazz group with a Jim Pepper at BYU during the 1959-1960 academic year. He was innovative with a beautiful tone on tenor. Comparing pictures of the Jim Pepper I knew suggests real similarities. Any chance of this being a very early part of what became a superlative musical career?

    steven thurber

    July 9, 2008 at 4:12 pm

  2. How can I get in touch with Ron.

    I would like to set up a tribute page to Jim Pepper on Facebook and use this image if possible.



    November 6, 2008 at 10:56 am

    • Try contacting Ron at (Sorry to take so long to reply — I’ve one catastrophe after another with computers since Nov., and spend a lot of time with no access to up-to-date Outlook (even on working computers). That’s the only contact info I have for Ron, but I am going to be in touch with him (if that email works) and talk to him about a few things, s o I let him know about your request.
      BTW, let me know if you’r site is up and alive, I’d love to see it!
      Peave ( or as Pepper would say: “I see you now!”),


      August 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm

  3. I was lucky enough to attend A Third Angle ( concert in Portland a couple of years ago. It featured a reading by Sherman Alexie with background music by a string quartet of music based on a Jim Pepper song. I found the reading and music to be an over-the-top experience. It was not recorded, which is a shame… but I was fortunate enough to get to be there and experience it. I recently have listened to a U-tube recording of Witchi Tai To from Peppers Goin’ and comin’ album. I cannot find a way to down-load it (Amazon or I Tunes). There are some copies available on Amazon for $50-70… I cannot get myself to spend that much. If you know of a way or site where I could download either the some or especially the album, I would appreciate that information. thank you for the information on this site.

    Jim Norris

    September 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm

  4. Check out a new show about Jim that opens in a couple weeks here in Portland, OR!

    “The Jim Pepper Project” is a play with music.

    Jim Pepper was an Oregon born (Salem) Native American from the Kaw/Creek tribes. His family moved to Portland when he was a teenager and when he was old enough moved to New York with Jazz pianist Tom Grant.

    Jim is known to be the first artist to fuse Jazz with Native American chants (which he learned from his grandfather).

    The show explores how Jim decided that Jazz could be fused with the ancestral chants by exploring the roots of how Native American and African Americas are similar in their lives during the 1619 to present day (slavery, Trail of Tears etc.)
    The show features Jim’s songs, one reaching the top of the Pop 100 charts in 1969 – Witchi Tai To.
    All of the cast is of Native American descent which is exciting for us because we’ve never featured this type of casting here at triangle. Once the show closes on May 30th it will be readied to tour Oregon in 2015. Ed Edmo [Shoshone-Bannock] (who is a Native American story teller and travels with Tears of Joy Theatre); Karen Kitchen [Osage] who was last seen in “Ghost of Celilo”, Cochise Anderson [Chickasaw-Choctaw] (AEA member) and Salim Sanchez [African American-Cherokee] who was last seen here at triangle in “Avenue Q”.
    The show has received generous support from NAYA and PSU’s Indigenous People’s Program and grants from Spirit Mountain Community Fund, The Jackson Foundation, The Autzen Foundation and RACC.
    Also featured with be local stomp dancers who will perform in the show. It’s a thrilling time for us as this is the ‘normal’ triangle show but it has an educational and social element that allows the company to reach out to our community in a new way.

    Come, be part of this unique theatrical experience!


    April 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm

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