By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
Horace Eugene Washington, longtime tenor sax player, band leader and Ambassador of Kansas City Jazz , died Thursday, Oct. 16, of an apparent heart attack at the age of 62.
Born in Kansas City, Kas., he was a lifelong area resident.
Washington was the son of Horace and Marcellee Washington, and brother to Tomalyn Washington-Hildebrandt, who all preceded him in death, along with his sons, Travis and Ashley.
He is survived by his brothers, Sylvester, of Kansas City and John, of Larned, Kas., and his two ex-wives, Mary and Vanessa.
He graduated from Sumner High school in 1970, where he studied under Leon Brady. Washington was Drum Major of the Sumner High Spartan Marching Band that performed in the Sugar Bowl Parade in New Orleans, and earned praise from commentators.
After graduation, he attended Tennessee State university and Missouri Western college before leaving to devote full-time, to playing jazz.
One of his many associations was playing for a season with the Chiefs Pep Band, under Tony DiPardo.
Although he played with many artists of various styles, including Sonny Kenner and Harold Bomar, the groups bearing his name – “The Horace Washington Trio” (1970’s-80’s) and “The Horace Washington Quartet” (2000’s) primarily played the traditional jazz sound popularized by earlier be-bop artists. A multi-talented artist, Washington starred in a short autobiographical film that won the CinemaJazz Best short documentary award at the 2011 AMC Kansas City Film Fest.
Washington was a native Kansas City, Kansan, Sumner High school graduate, and completed college studies at Missouri Western and DeVry.
He was proficient on saxophones, reeds and vocals.
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