Jimmy McDaniels, Popular Jazz Musician, Piano Man and Jazz Hall of Fame Inductee, passed away in Greenwich, Connecticut at the age of 80. Known throughout Indianapolis and the country for his musical contributions, Jimmy performed and conducted with such greats as Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Joe Williams, Lionel Hampton & many more. After serving with the 82nd Airborne Division as a band leader and a paratrooper in 1965, Jimmy received the Governor’s Award for outstanding service to the Indiana community for his organization of a jazz band at the Pendleton Reformatory. In the 70’s, he was an Education Specialist, soloist and guest conductor with the Indianapolis Symphony. Also during that period, his 17 piece big band debuted at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. As well as performing at major super clubs throughout the Indianapolis area and in Las Vegas, Jimmy performed at the Bush/Quayle presidential inauguration. He is a member of the Indiana Performing Arts Hall of Fame and the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Life member of Sertoma, 100 Black Men, Tuskegee Airmen, Kiwanis Club and a Life member of the Indianapolis Musicians Union, Local #3. James “Jimmy” McDaniels was born in Vinesville, Alabama, the second son of Music Professor Charles A. McDaniel & Mrs. Willie Viola Selden. He graduated from Fairfield Industrial H.S., Miles College & the Toledo Bach Conservatory and attended Indiana University for graduate studies in music and psychology. He is predeceased by his parents, brother Leroy Willie McDaniels and his wife of 45 years Catherine Malloy McDaniels. He is survived by two brothers Charles W. McDaniel and wife Rose and Braxton Elliott McDaniels and wife Renay, two daughters, Andrenese Marsden and husband Warren, Marla Heath and husband George and three grandchildren Andrew Heath, Catherine Heath and Narrean Marsden and a host of loving nieces and nephews. Jimmy had a big heart and is loved by so many. A memorial to celebrate his life will be on May 23 at 11AM with calling hours at 9:30AM at Broadway United Methodist Church, 609 East 29th St., Indianapolis, IN 46205.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Mr. McDaniel’s name to: Indianapolis Musicians Union, Local #3, 317-636-3595; or the Alzheimer’s Assoc., 317-575-9620; or the American Heart Assoc., 317-873-3640.
The Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge of arrangements 104 Myrtle Ave. Stamford, CT, 06902 Condolences can be given at www.Cognetta.com