Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Durham, George (Lewis)
Durham, George (Lewis), flute (also saxophones); b. Winter Haven, FL, 5 August 1952. His parents were George and Aldora Durham. His father was born in Capps, Florida in February 22,1917 and his mother was born in Hardee, Florida. His mom died in January 3, 1998 and his dad died in September 27, 2001. His father was a Grove Former and his Mom was a cook at Jewett Elementary School.
His sister, Alfreda Durham was born in Detroit Michigan in April 22, 1945. She was a clarinetist in the Jewett High School Band for 4 years.
His wife's name is Deanna (Long) Durham Her son's name is Mark West. Her daughter is Debbie Brower. Debbie is married to Dave Brower of Dayton, Ohio.
George has studied music under the instruction of the late Johnny B. Neal of Jewett High School for 5 years from 1964 to 1969. He won a special skill scholarship to Polk Community College in 1970. He studied under Dr. Keating and Dr. Gilkey.
He was influenced into jazz by the late Nat Adderley who was a close friend of mine name Anthony Gonzalves. Nat used to pick on him because he was a very small fellow. He made a joke about Durham that he could take one of Cannonball jacket and he could make a whole suit for him. Nat was also a close friend of Jimmy Hayes who worked for the Red Sox. George went to a B.B King blues concert with a friend and he laid a guitar pick in George's hand with his name on it while he was on the stage performing. George cherished the pick and wanted to learn how to play a guitar. He went to a pawnshop and bought an old beat up guitar and bought a Mel Bay Chord book and taught himself to play a guitar. He made a recording on a song called Mother Love by one of the Gap Band Member. He played the flute and the soprano saxophone on it, the first release of his work called Passages, which he is very proud of.
The flute is his main instrument, one he has been playing for about 21 years. He has appeared on the Jack Harris Show and has played at Seminole Community College for their Black History Week., Tampa Convention Center for Social Security Christmas Party, Governor Luncheon (Lawton Chiles) of Florida, Pre-games of the Cleveland Indians games, Grand Cypress Hotel of Disney World, Branch Ranch of Plant City, Lakeland Civics Center, Lake Wales Mardi Gras and Tampa Theater.