On Monday, January 16, 2023, the City of Tallahassee honored Julian “Cannonball” and Nathaniel “Nat” Adderley in a ceremony to unveil the newly named Adderley Amphitheatre at Cascades Park.
Though born in Tampa, the brothers always claimed Tallahassee as their home. “They were superstars and helped to bring significant recognition to Tallahassee,” said FSU Professor of Jazz Trumpet and close friend of the Adderley family, Scotty Barnhart.
The Adderley brothers established themselves in the early 1940s when their parents began teaching at Florida A&M University. Their contributions to the world of Jazz were pervasive and even introduced Soul-Jazz to the genre. They went on to record and release million-selling and chart-topping albums in the 1960s.
Barnhart was a major influence in the re-naming process. “It really began about 15-20 years ago,” he said. “It wasn’t until I was in a meeting with the city concerning the Florida Jazz and Blues Festival, which I co-founded in 2016, that I put forth the idea again. This time, in the room, was John Daley who eventually became Mayor. The rest is history because he knew and respected my work and immediately began to help make it possible along with Commissioners Curtis Richardson and Bill Proctor.”
Scotty Barnhart is a legendary musician in his own right. As a trumpeter, Barnhart is a two-time Grammy Award winner with the Count Basie Orchestra and has been heard on recordings with Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Ray Charles, and Tito Puente. He is also considered one of the foremost authorities in the history of jazz trumpet. According to his website, “The World of Jazz Trumpet – A Comprehensive History and Practical Philosophy”, published by Hal Leonard, is a valuable source tool for jazz trumpeters, students, and jazz fans.
“I’m proud to have had a major hand in the renaming,” said Barnhart, “but there were others whose collective weight helped make it a unanimous decision by the city commissioners. “One of them was Lindsey Sarjeant, friend of Cannon and Nat, my former professor at FAMU, and the current chair of the FAMU Music Department.”
Finally, Tallahassee can celebrate the legacy of these two icons in Jazz with a fitting commemoration.