The Cosmopolitan Review

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 12/5/2013, 1:33 p.m.

Mark McGowan, Esq., is a professional trumpeter. Having received a bachelor’s degree in music from Hunter College, he studied with Barry Harris and William Fielder. His performance career includes stints with Illinois Jacquet and Lionel Hampton. McGowan leads his own musical troupe called the Black Diamond Orchestra.

James Weidman, the most talented pianist, has played with Cecil Payne, Pepper Adams, Bobby Watson, Cassandra Wilson, Kevin Mahogany, Abbey Lincoln, Steve Coleman and Joe Lovano, just to name a few.

Giving the drummer some applause was easy, as drummer Steve Williams has collaborated with jazz pianist and singer Shirley Horn, Monty Alexander, Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Williams, Woody Shaw, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, John Hicks and Mulgrew Miller in the past. What a party.

Many are coming to pay their last respects to the Rev. Dr. Eugene Saint Clair Callender, who made his transition on Nov. 2. Born on Jan. 21, 1926, in Cambridge, Mass., Callender became the first African-American to attend Westminster Theological Seminary. He chose the ministry as a means to right the wrongs of segregation and create opportunities for African-Americans.

As a civil rights champion, Callender worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and stood with many others to try and end the horrific effects of racism on American culture. Indeed, he brought King to Harlem for the first time. He was responsible for helping launch Alex Haley’s career by helping to get “Roots” published. Callender developed a program to support drug addicts become free of addiction through the creation of Addiction Recovery Center- and Harlem-based street academies.

Callender enjoyed a prestigious career. He founded the Manhattan Christian Reformed Church in the 1950s, now named the Christian Parish for Spiritual Renewal. For many years, he presided over Church of the Master in Harlem. He served on five presidential commissions under five U.S. presidents, as well as having served as a trustee and president of the SYDA Foundation. In 2012, he penned a memoir, “Nobody is a Nobody: The Story of a Harlem Ministry Hard at Work to Change America.”

Callender is survived by two siblings, Thelma Burns and Leland Callender; a daughter, Renee Callender-Williams; a grandson, Roshon Martin; and a great-granddaughter, Shanice Jackson; as well as countless loving friends in New York City and nationwide. Public memorial services will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 12 p.m. at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.

Vocalist Frank Senior is the featured guest vocalist during the jazz vespers at Saint Peter’s Church with world renowned piano player Michael Kanan on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 5-6 p.m. The church is located at 619 Lexington Ave. The entrance is on East 54th Street. This service will take place during advent, a season of waiting and light. Senior said, “Please join me on this very special gig to help me bring in and celebrate the holidays. Everyone is welcome, and there’s no charge!” Also appearing will be the great blind piano player—the incomparable, incredible Valerie Capers.

Until next week … kisses