Woodlawn Cemetery, according to the NY Daily News, is in the process of becoming “one of the liveliest places in the Bronx; among NYC’s “more unusual tourist stops” with a spring program of outdoor concerts, walking tours and lectures.
“’This is a beautiful place that shouldn’t be only for burials but should be used as a celebration for the living,’ said Brian Sahd, executive director of Friends of the Woodlawn Cemetery, which organizes the events.”
The 400-acre cemetery (like Green-Lawn cemetery in Brooklyn) is a verdant panoply of history and culture…particularly for jazz lovers. Hundreds of renowned jazz musicians have made Woodlawn their final gig. W.C. Handy, Coleman Hawkins, William (Sonny) Greer, Charles (Cootie) Williams, King Olivier, Milt Jackson and Florence Mills are just some of the jazz greats memorialized there. Duke Ellington, Illinois Jacquet, Max Roach and Miles Davis are forever honored in Woodlawn’s famous “Jazz Corner.”
Each Sunday, the Friends of Woodlawn conduct walking tours of the Jazz Greats of Woodlawn Cemetery. On May 2, a concert by Irish folk singer Mary Courtney will follow a tour of the resting places of prominent Irish men and women: George M. Cohan, Victor Herbert and Chauncey Olcott, among others.
Other events honoring people buried at Woodlawn are: a Latin Jazz-Salsa concert featuring music popularized by Celia Cruz (June 6); a “Lost at Sea” tour focusing on personalities associated with the sea like Herman Melville, Capt. John Tallman and Adm. David Farragut (June 13); both the famous and infamous buried at the cemetery will be the focus of the “Asleep” walking tour (May 23); and a botanically-themed walking tour through Woodlawn’s beautiful spring foliage (May 16).
“Free end-of-life planning [dare we face it!] seminars are also being offered on May 19 and June 16.”
Reservations are recommended. Admission fees are $10 per person, $5 for seniors and students. For more information, call (718) 920-1470.