Jazz Concert Benefits Tisdale's Foundation

Thursday, May 21st 2009, 5:20 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Musicians from across the country came to Tulsa to celebrate Wayman Tisdale's life through music.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame played up to its name Thursday night, but the melodies filling the hall were for one man and one legacy.

Hundreds packed in to celebrate Tisdale's life, and more than a dozen musicians took the stage. They played their hearts out, hoping to reach the heavens and their friend they lost.

"He didn't come in thinking, ‘I'm Wayman Tisdale, I'm better than you,'" musician Everett Harp said. "He came in as a student. He learned, grew and took his popularity and took us to another level. He was just a wonderful human being."

Throughout Tisdale's career, many of his singles climbed to the top jazz and R&B charts. Just like he commanded respect on the basketball court, he earned respect as a musician on the stage.

"That man was an unbelievable musician," fellow musician Dave Koz said. "He channeled all that is good in the world through those melodies. They were gifts from God, and he knew it."

Through his music, Tisdale lives on. It soothes those who miss him and inspires those left behind.

His friends played in his place to raise money for his foundation. They rocked the house, and they knew Tisdale was tapping his foot, strumming his bass and smiling down on them.

"Wayman had a light that he would shine on people," musician Marcus Miller said. "To me, that light is Wayman's legacy. That light is what's going to shine forever."

About $5,000 was raised for the Wayman Tisdale Foundation. That money will go to amputees in need of prosthetic legs.