World-class trumpeter Joey Morant, who lit up stages in Harlem, Charleston and everywhere in between, will be honored with a homegoing ceremony Sunday at Pure Theatre downtown at 3 p.m. Morant was 82 when he died July 29.
“My father was born here in Charleston in the days of destitution for Black folks, and at a young age he started discovering music,” his son Obie Morant told City Paper.
For the renowned brass instrumentalist and vocalist, it all started with a broken trumpet, his son said, which people at Jenkins Orphanage helped him repair to playing condition.
“He became consumed with music and what it can do not just with communicating, but with seeing the reaches — the possibilities for Black folks to lift themselves out of certain situations through music and entertainment,” Obie Morant said. “So that became his mission.”
Joey Morant played with greats like Dizzy Gillespie to Lionel Hampton to Aretha Franklin and was part of the formation of Piccolo Spoleto Festival and MOJA Arts Festival in the 1980s.
“He ingratiated himself into the growth of the local music scene, especially when it came to jazz and culture. He became deeply embedded in jazz all over the world, but he always carried Charleston with him.”
To give the community another opportunity to celebrate the life of Joey Morant, the City of Charleston will hold a gathering Oct. 8 at Festival Hall (formerly known as Memminger Auditorium) downtown followed by a tribute jam session at The Commodore at 6 p.m.
Joey Morant will be laid to rest at Beaufort National Cemetery.
A Gofundme has been set up to collect donations for Joey Morant’s final expenses.
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