Colomby taught at Far Rockaway High School from 1954 to 1961. He started his career in music as Thelonious Monk’s manager, and together with Nica de Koenigswarter, Colomby helped Monk regain his New York Cabaret Card in 1957. Without that card, Monk could not play in venues that served liquor, and had it not been for Colomby and de Koenigswarter’s timely intervention, Monk might never have played the infamous five month collaboration with John Coltrane at the Five Spot in 1957. Colomby then moved on to work in television and film in the 1960s. He worked with comedians and wrote for ABC and Working Stiffs on CBS. Colomby appeared in the Clint Eastwood documentary Straight, No Chaser about Monk’s life and is producer on the forthcoming biopic Monk. He became Michael Keaton’s manager in the late 1970s and has produced films such as Body Shots (1999), Speechless (1994), Johnny Dangerously (1984) and Mr. Mom (1983).
Colomby on Nica "She was a friend of Jazz music and jazz musicians. Not in terms of being a scholar of the music, but I felt right away having a visceral connection, an emotional connection. "
PHOEBE JACOBS (b. 1918)
Jacobs was raised in a musical family, and grew up in and around the world of jazz and clubs. Her early jobs included hat-check girl at a night club before she moved to working in publicity and public relations for Sy Oliver at Decca Records. Jacobs has worked with Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Eubie Blake, Ella Fitzgerald, and Peggy Lee among others. In 1955, she met Louis Armstrong while at Decca Records, and went on to work with Armstrong and his wife Lucille until his death in 1971. Jacobs is currently the executive vice-president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the foundation she started with Armstrong in 1969.
Jacobs on Nica , "at that time because remember, we were very class orientated as well as racially prejudiced. In the ‘30s and ‘40s people of wealth and of a certain class lived on fifth avenue, like the Baroness did, just didn’t socialise with jazz musicians."
Kraft is President of Fox Music. During his time there he has produced, written and worked on countless soundtracks, perhaps most famously for the double-platinum Little Mermaid soundtrack featuring Under the Sea. He has also supervised soundtracks for Titanic, Moulin Rouge and Walk the Line as well as Fox Television's series such as The Simpsons and Family Guy. He was chairman of the Grammy Committee in 2001, is on the Advisory Committee of the Harvard-Radcliffe Office of The Arts and is a renowned seminar leader. Kraft has been nominated for two Golden Globes, a Grammy award and an Academy Award.
Kraft on Nica "when she was asked once why did she do that, she said something like ‘I just dug the music’"
FRED BRATHWAITE (b. 1959)
Seen with Jimmy Morton. The graffiti artist better known as Fab 5 Freddy created many well-known graffiti works, including a subway painting version Warhol's soup cans and his Mr. Potato-Head which appeared in the Brooklyn Museum of Art graffiti exhibition. He began hosting Yo! MTV Raps in September 1988, bringing him to a wider audience's attention through appearances on the show with The Beastie Boys and other famous names. Prior to Yo! MTV Raps, Fab 5 had contributed to the hip hop film Wild Style and featured in Blondie's music video to their crossover hit Rapture. After MTV Raps he directed the video for Nas's song One Love and associate produced the hit New Jack City.
Brathwaite on Nica 'many jazz musicians went to Europe over the years and were treated much better than they were treated here and because I think a lot of Europeans didn’t have the particular racial dynamic that America was built upon. So they were able to see people for what they were.'
Seen with Fred Brathwaite. Morton was a regular on the jazz scene in the 50s; He was MC at Tony's Grandime in 1953. Despite later moving to Manhattan, he sees himself as a Brooklynite.
Morton on Nica 'All the musicians said nice things about her and that when they had real problems, she was there and she understood the music and she understood musicians because they’re strange people you know.'
For those who don't know Fred or his amazing store it's a must visit in New York. Here he takes us through all those who knew and dedicated tracks to Nica.
236 W 26th St # 804, New York, NY 10001, United States