In Memoriam of Loretta Abbott

June 8, 2016

Harlem lost a bona fide treasure this week.

Loretta Abbott was well known to many generations of people, especially to those who loved the arts. Although she had been a dancer early in her career, and a distinguished one who worked with Alvin Ailey’s legendary company, Loretta was mainly known over the last few decades as an ardent supporter of anything of artistic quality. She gave her most precious gift – her time. Many people thought she had a doppelgänger, since she was seen in so many places, almost at the same time!

For us at the Jazz Museum, she was a friend and also a magnet. She attracted kindred spirits in her various roles which included volunteer, regular attendee and participant, and also lecturer on a few occasions.

It is hard to imagine a Harlem without Loretta Abbott, but she will live on in the hearts and minds of all the untold people she spread her joy and spent her time with.

As long as there is a National Jazz Museum in Harlem or any other home for creative artistry in Harlem, Loretta Abbott will be there.

Ave atque vale, dear friend, and keep swinging!

The Phoenix Project performance on Saturday June 18, 6pm at Harlem Piers is dedicated to Loretta’s memory and a Celebration of Life will follow at Faison Firehouse Theater at 8pm.

More about Loretta here:

We will be in touch with our fellow Harlem Arts Alliance members about having a memorial service in July.