SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Singer, jazz supporter and community activist Lee Boswell-May now has a street named in her memory; May passed away in April 2020 at 74. 

The ceremony was livestreamed this morning on the South Orange Village Facebook page. All who spoke mentioned her dedication to music in general, jazz in specific, and her South Orange community; she was a life-long resident. Representatives from her civic and musical life were there to pay tribute to the contributions she made to the Village as well as organizations such as Community Coalition on Race. 

“Not that I don't think about her all the time, but now when I pass here I'll think about her,” said bassist, composer, and music producer John Lee of his friend. “She walked around here on her long walks,” he said, which makes it a great street to name after her. He said the word that comes to mind when he thinks of Boz is love.

Musician Mike Griot, a friend of Boz for 25 years, agreed. He said she was the embodiment of “unconditional love,” and very supportive of musicians, even gifting him her late huband's bass after he passed.

“Boz was known for walking up to bands...and requesting they play 'Confirmation.' That was her song,” said Gregory Burrus, another friend. 

Burrus has organized a streaming tribute to Boswell-May. Musicians who knew and loved her came together in the past week and “went into the studio, [and] in their homes and played music as a tribute to Boz,” said Burrus, and several indeed played “Confirmation.”

The event will stream today at 7 p.m. from the Gregory Burrus Around Town Facebook page; for those not on Facebook visit 24hoursofmusicjamboree.com.

 

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