Posted August 2008.
These photos were taken in April 2007, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, when Pepper’s silver Selmer saxophone (reportedly found for him by Pharoah Sanders, and desperately longed for by the Selmer company for their mseum), his beaded baseball cap (with eagle feather), his turtle rattle, some music sheets written by him, some old albums, and his saxophone cases were donated “in perpetuity” to the Museum — thanks in good part to the efforts of his sister Suzie Pepper Henry and his nephew Jim Pepper Henry, who happened to be an assistant director at the museum at the time (I could be wrong on Jim’s title — so please correct me if so).
The “Remembrance Band” played to two standing-room-only crowds that day — including Pepper bandmates, Caren Knight-Pepper (vocals), Gordon Lee (piano), Ed Schuller (bass), Bill Bickford (electric guitar), and Steve Johns (drums). Standing in for Pepper on tenor and soprano sax, and finishing off the final song of the final set with Pepper’s own sax, was Dennis Springer, who was said by Pepper’s mother, Floy, to embody Jim’s spirit like no other sax player she knew of. Also performing were Pepper compatriots, the drumming circle Yellowhammer.
MORE TO COME — VISIT OFTEN!!
[All above photos taken and copyright (c) 2007, by Bill Siegel.
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