Wednesday, September 17, 2008

R.I.P.: BJ Papa

BJ Papa
(born Mobile/AL;
died Aug. 31, 2008, North Beach, San Francisco/CA)

The San Francisco based pianist BJ Papa, whose given name was William Jackson, died of liver disease August 31st at his North Beach, San Francisco, home at the age of 72. The pianist was born in Mobile, Alabama, and stayed in San Francisco after he was stationed there in the mid-1950s. He heard many of the jazz stars of the time, Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon, and shaped his own piano playing after the stylistic example of Thelonious Monk. He played with John Handy and Bishop Norman Williams , but was especially known for presiding over informal jam sessions all over town.

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