Dave Alexander Blues Musician

January 29, 2012 by staff 

Dave Alexander Blues Musician, One of the greats in blues and boogie-woogie music was laid to rest Saturday, but not without a memorial tribute by friends, family and fellow musicians.

Omar Sharriff, also known as Dave Alexander Elam, was remembered Saturday afternoon at the Marshall Convention Center. Sharriff died this past Sunday at his home.

“I want to thank you for taking the time to join us to celebrate the life of a musical genius, honorable man who brought so much joy to music and people throughout the world,” said Jack Canson, a friend and associate of Sharriff for Marshall’s Birthplace of Boogie Woogie Project.

“He spent the last years of his life surrounded by people who loved him and cared for him and admired his genius.”

As a second-generation boogie woogie musician, Sharriff was known as the last living link to the city’s boogie-woogie heritage. He also was an artist-in-residence.

Honoring Sharriff’s life and music was Dr. John Tennison, a musicologist whose research established Marshall as the birthplace of boogie-woogie.

Tennison said Sharriff had the ability to “be creative, and innovative to make new music, than merely to copy what came before him.”

“The memorial events that are occurring today will help secure the spot in history that Omar Sharriff deserves,” Tennison said.

Musical tributes were given by Anthony G. Parrish, Mike and Carl Mitchell Wes Jeans and Tennison.

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