I am praying that everyone is doing well and enjoying life as it is given to us. We just never know what tomorrow will bring. The senseless violence in our city is making me sick. People with guns taking each other lives; there seems like no one can stop this craziness. With so many of us dying of natural causes, we don’t need these duck-pluckers going around shooting and killing each other. I am very sad this morning . I am sad because we lost another one of our singing angels.
My dear friend, Brenda Alford, a native of Baltimore passed away on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at the age of 72 in Miami, Florida where she has resided for many years with complicated health issues. Brenda was known as a jazz vocalist, a song writer, a recording artist, an author, a poet, and a retired educator. She was also an entrepreneur and the owner of Brenda Alford, LLC, an art and entertainment company, and she owned her own record label, “Biajazz”. Brenda earned degrees from Morgan State University, Nova Southeastern University, and the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. She retired in 2015, after a combined 29 outstanding years of classroom teaching in Baltimore City and Miami-Dade County Public School.
Brenda Alford varied musical performance configurations have ranged from a cappella to a sixty-piece orchestra. Her repertoire includes jazz, gospel, pop, R&B, and blues. She has also appeared in two movies, Jon Waters’s original “Hairspray” and Barry Levinson’s “Avalon”.
Ms. Alford, originally from Baltimore, Maryland, a city with the rich musical legacies of Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Eubie Blake, Frank Zappa, and the musical genius of jazz pianists, Charlie Covington, Sir. Thomas Hurley and Cyrus Chestnut, with whom she worked with for several years. While in Baltimore, after her first teaching experience, she wrote and performed concerts for children, “A History of Jazz”, “Living with Jazz,” and “Legends and Jazz”, touring over 100 schools with her trio for about 14 years under the auspices of the Baltimore City Office of Cultural Enrichment and the Maryland Arts Council. Brenda has shared the stage with numerous other jazz legends over the years including Horace Silver, Slide Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, Joe Donato, Jesse Jones, Pete Minger, Keter Betts, Philly Joe Jones, and Stanley Turrentine, just to name a few.
Ms. Alford has been happy doing two things that she truly loves, teaching children and making music. Brenda Alford will be truly missed by her Baltimore family, her Miami, Florida family; her musician family and me. May she rest in peace. She is now singing with the angels along with Ruby Glover, Ethel Ennis, Eartha Lamkin, Earlene Reed and Liz Figueroa Byrd. Her heavenly backup band would include Harold Adams; Jackie Blake; Ray Gaskins; Arnold Sterling and Mickey Fields in the horn section; O’Donel “Butch” Levy on guitar; Andhi Rock on bass; Fuzz Kane on piano; Vance James and Ruben Armstrong on drums. The music is jumping and the angels in heaven are having a good time!
Okay my friends, I have got to go; take care of yourselves, stay healthy, keep your mask on and get all your vaccine shots. Remember if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at [email protected]. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.