[Dixielandjazz] Ted Joans Lives
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun May 18 11:46:26 PDT 2003
NOT OKOM, SO YOU MAY WISH TO DELETE NOW. IT IS A REMEMBERANCE OF A POET
AND FRIEND OF MANY JAZZ MUSICIANS INCLUDING ME, IN NEW YORK CITY CIRCA
Like Bird of whom he wrote, TED JOANS LIVES
May 18, 2003 - New York Times
Ted Joans, 74, Jazzy Beat Poet Known for 'Bird Lives' Graffiti, Dies
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 13 Ted Joans, a Beat
Generation poet whose work drew from the African-American oral tradition
and blended black consciousness with avant-garde jazz rhythm, was found
dead in his apartment here on May 7. He was 74.
His health had deteriorated because of diabetes, said T. Paul St. Marie,
a family friend.
Mr. Joans was a contemporary and friend of Jack Kerouac and Allen
Ginsberg, but in a career that spanned more than 40 years, he never
achieved their level
of fame. Yet he was considered an influential figure in American and
When the jazz great Charlie Parker, who was known as Bird, died in 1955,
Mr. Joans wrote "Bird Lives" on many streets in New York.
Mr. St. Marie said that Laura Corsiglia, Mr. Joans's companion, was
asking poets to write in chalk on streets and sidewalks, "Ted Joans
At Mr. Joans's death, his career was enjoying a resurgence with the
recent publication of the anthology "Teducation."
Mr. Joans, whose original name was Theodore Jones, was born on July 4,
1928, in Cairo, Ill. As an adult, he changed his surname to Joans to
from the more common spelling and, by one report, because of a woman
He earned a degree in fine arts from Indiana University before moving to
New York and joining the bohemian set of Greenwich Village in the late
His work is characterized by a black consciousness and has a musical
language closely linked to the blues and the best of avant-garde jazz.
It was also
influenced by Surrealist painters and writers, and Mr. Joans was a
considerable visual artist in his own right; his painting "Bird Lives"
hangs in the DeYoung
Museum in San Francisco.
Mr. Joans recited his poems in New York coffeehouses. George Bowering,
poet laureate of Canada, recalls that "he used to rent himself out to
upper-middle-class parties as a beatnik."
Mr. Joans lived in Paris for many years and traveled widely. He moved to
Vancouver several years ago and wrote prolifically until his death.
He is survived by Ms. Corsiglia and 10 children.
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