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Tallahassee concludes its MLK Day observance with a tribute to its hometown jazz superstars

A number of people sit in stands with a red-brick wall with gold letters that read " The Adderley Amphitheater" behind them.
Tom Flanigan
The brick retaining wall behind the amphitheater's seating area now bears the facility's new name.

The family name of the two Tallahasseeans whose approach to jazz changed the entire art form is now enshrined on a city street and a great outdoor amphitheater. The ceremony honoring Nat and Cannonball Adderley concluded Monday's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration in the Capital City.

Bestowing the Adderley name on the Cascades Park Amphitheatre and the section of Suwanee Street leading to it was the idea of City Commissioner Curtis Richardson. He called the brothers "Tallahassee's goodwill ambassadors to the world."

"They made their mark on the world as pioneers of Soul Jazz, sharing their talents with fans here in the U.S. and internationally," he told the crowd of several hundred who had gathered in the soon-to-be-renamed amphitheater.

Then came a concert of signature Adderley tunes, featuring several musicians who actually knew and played with them over the years. The tribute brought literal tears to the eyes of Nat's daughter and Cannonball 's niece, Allison Adderley-Pittman.

"I'm so grateful that the men who have a permanent place in my heart have also found a permanent place in the hearts of all of Tallahassee. Thank you so much for this honor; we are so appreciative!"

Julian (Cannonball) Adderley died in 1975. His brother Nat passed away in 2000.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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