Rest in Peace Coleman Mellett

Pictured above is Coleman Mellett and his wife, Jeanie about ten years ago.  I went to high school with Coley, and we both graduated in the DeMatha class of 1992.  I called him Coleman "the soul-man" because he opened my eyes to the fact that it was indeed possible to be a superior jazz musician and be white.  Never mind that there were already tons of white jazz musicians that I could have been exposed to, and Coley mentioned them all.  The fact was, that Coley was there in the flesh for me, and he opened up his home when he could have easily dismissed my ignorance.  DeMatha was that kind of place, but Coley was still special.

Coleman Mellett died in a tragic plane crash that killed everyone aboard late last night when he was headed to Buffalo to play a gig.  Coleman was an outstanding guitarist that played with the Radio City Music Hall orchestra, and an equally accomplished clarinet player.  I’m going to miss Coleman for his honesty and for his humor.  You could always count on Coley to give an honest answer and also to cheer you up with a joke after breaking your heart.  My prayers are for his family right now, because I know that Coley is in a better place.  My guess is that he’s jamming out with the best of the best and holding his own.  Rest in peace, good friend.  Never in a million years did I think that you would depart this world so soon or else I would have held you tighter.

Coleman is survived by his wife Jeanie, his brother Zebulon, and his sister Brady.

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One Response to “Rest in Peace Coleman Mellett”

  1. Denise Says:

    Wow, Daniel I am so sorry to hear that your friend passed away. My friend Fresh past away last year and he is who I trusted the most in my industry. The pain is unbearable, and you feel clenched jawed and powerless. You try to remember every meeting, every joke. I felt confused. A quote that I received yesterday said that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, not a human being having a spiritual experience. I\’m sorry to hear that and I will keep you in my prayers always. Denise Hopkinson

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