As the most popular outdoor concert venue in Tallahassee, the amphitheater in Cascades Park will soon get a fittingly musical name. The community is invited to a ceremony for the newly named Adderley Amphitheater at Cascades Park on Monday, Jan. 16, at 3:30 p.m. The new name honors Julian “Cannonball” and Nathaniel “Nat” Adderley, two of the most important jazz musicians in history who also boasted local ties.
The Adderley brothers’ parents, Jessie and Dr. Julian Adderley Sr., took jobs at Florida A&M University and brought them to Tallahassee in the 1940s. Musical themselves, the parents instilled a love of music in their sons. Both brothers began playing brass instruments early in life and performed throughout their teenage years in local and high school bands. Both brothers then graduated from FAMU and eventually became jazz giants widely known for pioneering the sub-genre “soul jazz.”
While Cannonball initially taught high school band and Nat served in the U.S. Army, the brothers reunited in 1959 to form the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. Together, they churned out a string of hits, including “This Here,” “Work Song,” “Jive Samba” and “Walk Tall.” In 1966, the brothers sold over a million records for their song “Mercy Mercy Mercy.” Over the course of their careers, Cannonball and Nat both had significant success playing in their own bands as well as with major jazz musicians, including Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, J.J. Johnson, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Though they traveled widely, Tallahassee was home. The Adderley brothers often returned for family visits and were both laid to rest in Tallahassee’s Southside Cemetery.
To recognize these important historical figures, the City Commission began the process in April 2022 to rename both the amphitheater and adjacent portion of Suwannee Street after the Adderleys.
The ceremony will be held as part the City’s annual MLK Jr. Day festivities in Cascades Park. It will include a musical tribute featuring works by the Adderley Brothers. Following the ceremony, Tallahassee Nights Live will take the stage.More Information arrow_forward