AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
Founder and President of the African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh, an executive board member of the Pittsburgh Musician's Union, and a member of the Pittsburgh Jazz Hall of Fame, Chuck Austin was a versatile musician as well as a strong advocate for the preservation of jazz history. He was even honored by The City of Pittsburgh when February 8, 2011 was proclaimed to be Chuck Austin Day.
Pittsburgh musician Chuck Austin passed away 5:35am on May 26. He had undergone a long illness over the past few years but when well enough, he would come out and play. Chuck along with a couple of others were intrumental in getting me to be a board member for the African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh. Our condolences go out to his family and many friends.
I was one of the blessed people that had the opportunity to know and played with Mr. Austin. I and I'm sure many will miss him. Play that horn with Gabriel Chuck!!
The viewing will be at White Funeral Home at the corner of Thomas Blvd & Homewood Avenue on Thursday May 31, 2012 from 4:00 - 8:00pm following which everyone is invited to CJ's on the Strip (29thStreet and Penn Avenue) for a musicians "Tribute to Chuck" jam session led by Roger Humphries. All are invited. the funeral service will be held Friday June 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm form Mt. Ararat Baptist Church on Paulson Avenue in East Liberty.
It has been a few years since I last talked to Chuck but his name would often come up in conversations in the 'green rooms'. My first contact with him was in the early 60's. I was just getting started in trying to be a professional musician. I had been in Pittsburgh's "ALL CITY BAND" for a few years and thought I knew how to read any sheet music in front of me. I got called, with a local band I was in, to open up for LEE DORSEY at the Stanley Theater. Chuck was there and heard me playing a difficult horn line different than what was written. It was he that drove it home for me, to...."using his words"......'learn to read the written word''; his nick name for reading charts/sheet music. Chuck would repeat that to me many times through the years.
Before I knew he was a livin' legend, I loved the guy and respected him so much. I wish, back in the day, I had told him how much I appreciated his lessons, input, history and the need in learning the written word......but I think he knows that now! I am missing him!
RIP, Chuck. The Heavens will be in awe to have you among the other Jazz Angels who have arrived before you. You will, however, be missed by all know and love you. Your legacy will live forever.
Chuck was from Ben Avon and was primarily a trumpeter. He played on Lloyd Price's "Personality."
Hey Kevin and Nelson, thanks for the obit information on Mr. Chuck Austin. Wasn't Chuck also an R&B singer back in the 80s. Seems to me, i recall him singing the R&B styles too? i could be wrong. And, wasn't he from the North Side? RIP, Chuck Austin.
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