[JPL] percussionist/bandleader Norman Hedman passes away

Arturo Gomez arturo at kuvo.org
Tue Sep 30 17:44:54 EDT 2008

Norman Hedman passed away last night after a long bout with cancer, he was a
terrific man, very happy-go-lucky, always with a smile. he was born July
17th, 1945on one of the islands of the English Caribbean, he'll be missed.
The following is from fellow percussionist and former bandmate, Willie

Last night I lost a friend.  I know that he'll remain with me as I continue
to walk on this Earth, but I won't have the benefit of seeing his smile and
hearing his voice, until I see him again.

Friend is a bit of an understatement, for he was much more, so much more

Norman Hedman was a gentleman; one of the truly gentle men that I've met in
my life.  He was selfless, generous, warm, passionate, and kind.  He was
strong without being forceful, he was firm without being hurtful, he was
wise without being condescending and he was giving without being
patronizing.  He gave from a place from where only the truly generous can
give, from a place far deeper than most of us have the ability to tap into.

Norman Hedman was talented, supremely talented.  Norman was talented at
music, of course, but his true gift was the gift of synchronicity.  Norman
knew how to synchronize souls; he was in the pocket with the universe.  When
Norman brought people together they had the uncanny feeling that they'd met
before, more, that they'd known each other forever.

Norman was part of the solution and I can't help but to feel terribly robbed
of what more he had to share with us here in this place.  I'm struggling
with the big picture, for I know it's not for me to see.  I'm struggling
with the thought that sometimes we're needed in places that are farther away
than we can return from.

Norman was a family man.  He cherished his wife, his children, his
grandchildren, his Mother and all of those who share his blood, who will cry
for him as they remain and he moves on.

Norman was a fierce friend.  He was a mentor, a nurturer and a champion.

Norman knew the truth, and for that he was special.  He saw through the
bullshit with a soft, knowing smile, never critical, always knowing.

Norman was patient.  He was always where he needed to be, and now I have to
have faith that where he needs to be is where he is.  I strive to be
faithful as he was faithful.  He loved his Creator and he loved Creation.

Norman was one of those rare human beings that improved other human beings
through his humanity, through his humility.  He loved people honestly and
truly; loved them into the greatness that he saw in them.  He changed
peoples lives in such a quiet way that it could easily be taken for granted,
because we weren't paying attention, but he was paying attention, always.

Norman was a hero in a world where heroes are few and far between.  A strain
of heroism so profound in its simplicity that it was easy to mistake for
unremarkable, but it was anything but.  It was a gift.  A gift I'll cherish
and hold close to my heart always.

Where Norman's wife Micheline granted me permission to post something on
Norman's passing last night, I'll leave it to Norman's manager Dawn Deblaze
to post an official press release either here or at normanhedman.com later
today.  God bless you all.

Peace & love,

Willie Martinez

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