UT Concert to Pay Tribute to Late Jazz Pianist, Tad Weed

Daily Dose  |  02/08/2019 9:00 am

This past summer, the University of Toledo Department of Music lost one of its finest faculty members, local jazz pianist Tad Weed. Several of Tad’s former students and fellow faculty members have organized a beautiful concert in his honor. “Tad Remembered” will be held Wednesday, February 20 at 7 p.m. in the UT Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall, located on the Bancroft Campus.

The concert will feature a host of performers: the UT Student Jazz Combo; UT Music Alumni including: Matt and Atla DeChamplain, Will Bennett, and the group Talking Ear (comprised of UT alumni) Estar Cohen, Travis Aukerman, Ben Maloney and Dan Palmer.  The following members of the UT Music faculty will also perform together: Norm Damschroder, Ellie Martin, Dr. Olman E. Piedra, and Jay Weik. An added treat is a special video encore of Tad performing with UT music student, Isabella Weik.

Partial list of songs from the program (performer):

  • The Road Leads music by Tad Weed, lyrics by Estar Cohen. (Talking Ear)
  • Cowboy Poetry Life by Tad Weed (UT Student Combo)
  • Just One of Those Things by Cole Porter (Matt DeChamplain)
  • When you Wish Upon a Star by Cliff Edwards (Ben Maloney)

This concert is the 2019 Art Tatum Memorial Scholarship Concert. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the scholarship program. Tickets are $15 general admission; $10 for UT employees, alumni, senior citizens, and vets and members of the military; and $5 for students and children. Tickets are available at the door but purchasing them in advance is recommended. They are available online at https://utoledo.tix.com/ or by calling the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office at 419.530.ARTS (2787). Parking is free during the concert, located in the lot across from the Center for Performing Arts.

About Tad Weed

Tad held a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from The Grove School in Los Angeles. He studied classical piano repertoire and composition at Central Michigan University before migrating to Los Angeles to complete his studies and intensify his performance life.

Tad’s career was acknowledged in Leonard Feather’s Encyclopedia of Jazz. Feather wrote, “…pianist Weed displays a very rare ability to cross over from dashing bop lines to rich impressions, he has all of the bases covered from funky blues to the border of the avant-garde.” Tad’s discography contains over thirty recordings which feature his playing, arrangements and compositions.

His performing experience included touring internationally as pianist/musical director for Carmen McRae, Anita O’Day, Paul Anka, and Jack Jones. He was a member of various ensembles including Charles Lloyd, Nick Brignola, Woody Herman, Mundell Lowe, John Patitucci, Vinny Golia, Richie Cole, Teddy Edwards, and Dick Berk.

While on staff at LA’s Discovery Records, Weed recorded, arranged, accompanied and performed with Chaka Khan, Al Cohn, Kenny Burrell, John Clayton, Bill Watrous, Shorty Rogers, Jerome Richardson, Bud Shank, Stanley Turrentine, Wycliffe Gordon, John Carter, Bobby Bradford, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Morgan and David ‘Fathead’ Newman.

After returning to Michigan, Tad served on the music faculty of the University of Michigan, Bowling Green State University, Western Michigan University, and the University of Windsor. Most recently, he served as an adjunct assistant professor of Jazz Piano at BGSU, and as an assistant professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Toledo. At the same time, he also taught and conducted clinics in jazz and composition all the while performing, writing and recording for his groups The Freedom Ensemble, The Dobbins, Krahnke, Weed Trio, and touring nationally with the Dave Bennett Sextet.

Tad passed away August 22, 2018, surrounded by his wife and children, after battling cancer valiantly.