A decorated and praised jazz musician, Geri Allen – a pianist, composer and teacher – passed away on June 27th, 2017 from complications with cancer. She had just celebrated her 60th birthday on June 12th of the same year.
Raised in Detroit Michigan, Allen is known and celebrated for her dedication to jazz music. She wrote and played her music with a fearless air, paving the way for other women musicians in jazz to bravely attempt a fiery Miles Davis solo, or compose a piece that works itself into the evolution of art.
She played and wrote her music with complicated rhythmic style of past jazz eras, but also with the magical fluidity that slow, smoky sounding jazz music is known for today. She enjoyed pushing herself outside the box of what was considered “normal” and defying stereotypes. She believed in bringing jazz back to its roots in African-American tradition.
Allen began prominently playing live in the 1980’s and has been a strong jazz influence ever since. She will be remembered for not only the teaching she has left behind, but also the legacy of musicology that she ingrained into the jazz world for all to hear and cherish for lifetimes to come.