A friendship created a lasting legacy when James Moody and his wife Linda decided to establish the James Moody Scholarship Endowment Fund in 2005. The Moody’s were impressed by the quality of the Jazz program and its faculty at Purchase and they knew Todd Coolman, Director of the Jazz Studies Program at Purchase very well since he had performed with Moody for 26 years as bassist.
The Moodys goal was to help young musicians achieve their educational dreams and they wanted to support the next generation of Jazz Masters. Since the program began, five students have been named Moody Scholars: Andrew D. Gould; Max Darche, Duncan Hardy, Brandon Lewis, and Andrew Roninson.
The Moody’s organized benefits for the scholarship fund. The first was at The Performing Arts Center in 2005 with Moody and his band. Other benefits were held annually at B.B. Kings Blues Club & Grill in Manhattan from 2006 to 2009 and featured some the greatest jazz musicians. Todd Coolman and Jon Faddis were involved in the planning of the concerts, at which both performed. Paquito D’Rivera, who recently received a Rockefeller Award from Purchase, also performed at the concerts. At each one the Moody scholars were invited to play with the band.
Todd Coolman travelled the world with James Moody and recorded many albums with him. In fact, he performs on Moody’s last recording “Moody 4B” which was released this year and has been nominated for a Grammy for “Best Jazz Instrumental Recording of the Year.”
Todd, Max, and a group of musicians will perform at the memorial service for the NEA Jazz Master and world renowned saxophonist James Moody on December 18 in San Diego including: Antonio Hart, alto saxophone; Cyrus Chestnut, piano, bass; Adam Nussbaum, drums.
“We are proud to have had such a close relationship with this world famous musician,” said President Schwarz. “He will be greatly missed.”