John Wright (pianist)
|Birth name||John Albert Wright|
|Born||September 7, 1934|
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
|Died||December 15, 2017 (aged 83)|
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Associated acts||Walt Dickerson, Lou Blackburn, Gene Ammons, Dexter Gordon|
Life and work
John Wright was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1934. His family moved to Chicago in 1936 where his mother, an evangelistic preacher, founded a church at which he began to play piano by the age of seven. He attended Wendell Phillips High School and played organ at the Christian Hope M.B. Baptist Church before enlisting in the military in 1952 where he was stationed in Germany with the 7th Army Special Services and developed his skills in playing jazz.
Upon his return to Chicago in 1955, Wright performed in the local jazz scene in clubs and in 1960 began to record for the New York jazz label Prestige at the Van Gelder Studio producing a total of five albums for the label between 1960 and 1962.
Wright continued to perform on the Chicago club scene and worked as a librarian at the Cook County Jail from the mid 1980s until 1999. In 1994, he recorded a final album Wright Changes & Choices.
In 2008, Wright was inducted into the Wendell Phillips High School Hall of Fame, and in 2009 he was awarded the Walter Dyett Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Wright died in late 2017, and tribute concerts were performed in his memory at the 2018 Chicago Jazz Festival and 2018 Hyde Park Jazz Festival.
- South Side Soul (Prestige, 1960)
- Nice 'n' Tasty (Prestige, 1960)
- Makin' Out (Prestige, 1961)
- Mr. Soul (Prestige, 1962)
- The Last Amen (Prestige, 1961 )
- Wright Changes & Choices (Norma, 1994)
With Arbee Stidham
- Tired of Wandering (Prestige, 1961)
- Never the Same: Interview with John Wright, accessed November 30, 2018
- Chicago Reader: The life of John Wright, the Chicago jazz pianist they call "South Side Soul", accessed November 30, 2018
- Allmusic: John Wright discography, accessed November 30, 2018
- John Wright Leader Entry, accessed November 30, 2018
- We Heart Music: Musicians Who Died in 2017, accessed November 30, 2018
- Chicago Jazz Festival: Tribute to John Wright, accessed November 30, 2018
- 2018 Hyde Park Jazz Festival: John "Poppy" Wright's Pool Party Jam, accessed November 30, 2018