Bill Shiell, at center in front row, with the Lamont Cranston Band, in a publicity photo circa 1980.
The spirit was so generous and celebratory that, well, the friends of trumpeter Bill Shiell are doing it again.
Shiell, a jazz mainstay in the Twin Cities who also was a longtime member of the Lamont Cranston blues band, is suffering from a rare form of cancer. In November, members of the jazz community played a benefit for him and, as tabla player Marcus Wise put it, “It made Bill so happy, he was weeping.”
Wise and others including guitarist Dean Magraw, bassist Billy Peterson and drummer Mac Santiago will throw another benefit at 2 p.m. Sunday at Jazz Central in Minneapolis.
“No one played trumpet like Bill,” said Wise this week. “Bill Shiell changed the direction of the jazz scene here when he came from the East Coast.”
Shiell has been reclusive in recent years, says Wise, who used to play in a tabla/flute duo with Shiell. “He’s very frail. But he’ll be there.”
And so will the Twin Cities jazz community.