Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jazz-Inspired Art by Eugene "Jeep" McCoy Part II

Here is the second presentation of beautiful jazz paintings by the late "Jeep" McCoy - founder (with wife Muriel) of NEFJA and a jazz lover/activist in Palm Coast. Click on images for a larger view!

Lady Day - painting by Jeep McCoy
Duke Ellington - painting by Jeep McCoy

I asked Muriel if Jeep was a musician himself: "No! He wanted to be - he was a frustrated musician. He used to carry a guitar around with him everywhere" she remembers, smiling.

Eugene "Jeep" McCoy attended FAMU where he was on the boxing team (he boxed in the Army as well). He met Cannonball at the college and they became friends.

"Swingin'", Lester Young & Cannonball Adderley - painting by Jeep McCoy

Later on, when Jeep lived in Greenwich Village, NYC - Cannonball would stop by to partake of Jeep's cooking - a big pot of spaghetti or stew.

The McCoys, who shared a deep love for the music and were always 'on the scene', lived in Teaneck, NJ - where they had jazz royalty for neighbors. Stanley Turrentine & Shirley Scott lived across the street, and Nat Adderley lived a couple of blocks over. Nat's daughter and the McCoy's son Chip went to high school together.

"Jam Session" - Betty Carter, Dizzy, Ray Brown... painting by Jeep McCoy

For bringing jazz music to an area where there was none; for presenting concerts with "A-1" performers & creating long-lasting memories for all who attended; for gathering together jazz lovers all over North East Florida; for encouraging young musicians to pick up the torch with helpful scholarships and much more - the presence of both Jeep and Muriel McCoy in Palm Coast will go on for a long, long time. These paintings celebrate jazz through the eyes of an ardent admirer - today we celebrate and admire the McCoys!

Chip McCoy - painting by Jeep McCoy
You can help continue the work of Jeep & Muriel by considering a membership of or by supporting the North East Florida Jazz Association (NEFJA). Visit their website to find out what they do and 'like' them on Facebook to be kept in-the-know about the upcoming season!
John Coltrane & Miles Davis - painting by Jeep McCoy

Special thanks to Chip McCoy for photographing the paintings. (Disclaimer: the copyrights of these works of art belong to Muriel McCoy - please do not reproduce without first obtaining permission from the copyright owner (via NEFJA). We hope you enjoyed these amazing works of art!

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