Talibah Newman, David "Fathead" Newman's granddaughter, tells Unfair Park today that on Sunday at 2 p.m., there will be a memorial service in honor of the saxophone great, who died Tuesday night in New York following a long bout with pancreatic cancer. The service will take place at the Warren Avenue Christian Church near Fair Park, where, Talibah says, her grandfather was baptized and where David's mother attended church after moving here from Corsicana. "He wouldn't claim to be religious," Talibah says of her grandfather, "but he was very spiritual."
She says that because the service has been hastily assembled, she's not sure what will take place, aside from some remarks and a poetry reading: "It's basically a gathering to honor and remember him." Family members are expected to attend, and she invites jazzers to the ceremony: "Anyone who would like to perform is more than welcome." Talibah, a recent graduate of Columbia University, is also working on a documentary about her grandfather: She's completed a 15-minute short, and hopes to assemble a feature-length version sooner than later." She adds that on or around February 24, there will be another Dallas celebration, most likely at the South Dallas Cultural Center. February 24 would have been David Newman's 76th birthday. After the jump, video of the man in action with Ray Charles.