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In Memory of Judge Myron Wahls

After a long bout with cancer, Judge Myron "Mike" Wahls passed away on November 24, 1998. He was lauded in local newspapers for his contributions as both a lawyer and as a pianist. SEMJA recognized Wahls in October of 1997 as a Detroit Legend of Jazz. We also had the pleasure of hearing him play with his trio. His great spirit in the face of adversity was evident at that event and in his many community activities. His record, You Be The Judge, with Marion Hayden on bass and George Davidson on drums, has sold very well with the proceeds going to cancer research.

In an interview with Michael G. Nastos in the October 1997 SEMJA UPDATE, Wahls reminisced about growing up in Rushville, Indiana, where he started on the piano at home. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan he often played at fraternity parties and at one time with Detroit tenor legend Wardell Gray. He continued public performances while in Law School at Northwestern in Chicago and in 1961 moved to Detroit. He told Nastos: "I thought the scene was stimulating. I played with Eli Fountain, the alto saxophonist.  I've always been impressed with the number and caliber of first-rate jazz musicians here in Detroit."  In the eighties his jazz career picked up when he had a chance to travel with Lionel Hampton. He will be missed as a great human spirit and an eloquent spokesman for the music we call jazz.


Southeastern Michigan
Jazz Association


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