Saturday, January 1, 2011

RIP: Tom Mullinix

It's not an uplifting way to usher in the new year, but I learned this morning -- from a blurb in The Indianapolis Star -- that longtime jazz and Dixieland horn player Tom Mullinix has died in Florida. According to the newspaper's story, Mullinix's wife, Donna, The Star's onetime social news writer ("Painting the Town"), told friends her husband died of a colon infection developed while being treated for a leg wound in a hospital in St. Petersburg.

Mullinix, best-known for his trumpet-playing but also played other instruments, led the six-member Naptown Strutters when he lived in Indianapolis. He also led and performed with other ensembles through the years. According to The Star article, he opened a Dixieland jazz club called the Jam Cellar at Union Station in the late 1980s.

On Aug. 21, 2004, as part of the Friends of Garfield Park's "Music in the Garden" free concert series, Mullinix and the Naptown Strutters performed in the Sunken Garden of Garfield Park, a show I happened to attend and photograph. The picture above, featuring Mullinix on trombone, was from that show.

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