Hadley Caliman (January 12, 1932 – September 8, 2010). Jazz saxophonist and college instructor.

Hadley Caliman started out in Los Angeles as a high school classmate of trumpeter Art Farmer and an early disciple of Dexter Gordon. (He was known as “Little Dex”.) He later moved to San Francisco in 60’s before drug addiction and jail time temprorarily derailed his career. He eventually ended up in Seattle, where he was a highlight of the city’s jazz scene. He also taught at Cornish College in Seattle for 20 years, influencing a whole generation of aspiring musicians. He released a few albums in the 70’s, allowing 31 years to go by before releasing his next album as a leader, Gratitude, in 2008. Two more albums were released this year, the most recent of which, Reunion, a duet album with longtime friend Pete Christlieb, was released only a few weeks ago. During his career, Hadley Caliman recorded or performed with a wide variety of musicians, ranging from Don Ellis, Mongo Santamaria, Freddie Hubbard and Bobby Hutcherson to Carlos Santana, Buddy Miles, the Grateful Dead, and Phoebe Snow. (Watch Hadley Caliman with Freddie Hubbard here.)

After a two-year battle with liver cancer, Hadley Caliman passed away yesterday at the age of 78. He remained active practicing and performing right up until the end. A celebration of his life and career was held last July in Seattle.

“Right now I feel wonderful. I’m Christian. My peace in my life came with that. That’s what’s given me the strength to go on. Music is also a big part of my life. I do it every day. I can concentrate on it totally.”

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