Today Mark's the 93rd birthday of saxophone legend Cecil James "Big Jay" McNeely. It's been a little over 1 year since his passing and we all miss him like the day he transitioned.
Last May of 2019, we (the McNeely family) put together a Tribute Concert to honor the legend and had plans to make this celebration annual. Due to the (COVID19) pandemic, plans have shifted and the 2nd annual celebration is slated to take place in the Spring 2021 in Los Angeles, Ca.
Children, can we take a moment to talk about one of Big Jay's favorite things to do? EAT!!! Honey, this man could eat you out of a house and home. Lol If you had any "leftovers" in your fridge and Big Jay was around, those belonged to HIM. Lol He had a special relationship with food. For him, it was comforting and a mood enhancer. One thing that will always remain true is his favorite meal of the day, Breakfast. He loved breakfast like he loved playing his horn, you better believe it. He had to have his toast, his grits, his eggs, his sausage/bacon, and you better not forget his coffee, no sugar, and little to no cream. Lol
Big Jay had to have his breakfast no matter where he was, and we could understand because, breakfast really sets the tone for the day. We can all relate to the warm feeling we get inside when it's time for breakfast. And we ain't talking about no cold cereal! We mean breakfast "Breakfast", a warm hot meal so captivating that just the smell of it alone wakes you up outta your sleep and draws you to the kitchen! That's what Big Jay looked forward to, especially the mornings he spent with his late wife Jacquelene "Jackie Day" Edward's, and his daughter Jacquelene "Jay Jay" McNeely. The family got together and put our thinking caps on because we wanted to compose a way to continue to serve the BJM community the same way we served Big Jay. We decided to switch it up a bit because we wanted to have an intimate experience with Jazz heads and Rhythm & Blues lovers. What other way to do that than to put on a Jazz Brunch?! We know!! We can't wait either! We've got something good cooking up! Can't you smell it? (Hahaha) No worries, we'll be sure to keep you all informed. Be sure to join the Big Jay McNeely Mailing list to stay connected.
Looking back on the years it was such a privilege to witness Big Jay McNeely in action! What an excited experience at any age! We miss his flamboyant sound and performances, but most of all we just miss his energy around the house. But we know he lives in and through all of us and for that, we are grateful. 🥰
You can help us continue to celebrate this legend and gear up for next years Rhythm & Blues Brunch by purchasing a "Color Therapy" t-shirt. All proceeds will go towards the funding of the intimate event.
Ps. We want to hear from you! Have you ever been to a Big Jay McNeely concert? If so, what was it like? What's your fondest BJM memory? Have you got a favorite BJM song? Let us know by leaving your comments on the BJM facebook wall. We can't wait to hear all of the great stories you guys have witnessed and experienced.
Sending our love to all of you, praying you are well during this uncertain time. We mustn't let this virus come in and intrude on our mental health. We have to continue to be beacons of light during this dark time. So in the words of Big Jay, "Let the Good times roll." 🎷🎶🎵
Happy Birthday Big Jay!
- The McNeely Family