Wayman Tisdale
Memories from his Friends!

Wayman was an inspired man...he lived about 5 people's lifetimes in his own, as a father of 4 and a grandfather, an NBA All Star, and a chart-topping solo career as a bass player. He lived every minute of his life giving, smiling from the heart, and immersing himself so fully in everything he did. He touched so many people. He was an incredible talent, but a better friend.

Mindi Abair


We've all had the privilege of meeting quite a few people in our journey. Very few had the passion for
life that Waymon Tisdale did. This short video demonstrates what kind of man-musician-athlete
Big Tis' was (truly a remarkable human being).

...may his transition be peaceful...may his legacy inspire
others forever. Deepest respect & condolences to his family.

  Jazz: America's gift to the World 


This is a tough one for anyone who knew Wayman—to know him was indeed to love him. No one made people feel good like Wayman Tisdale... that smile, that spirit about him—that sense of determination and focus. He had this way of making everyone feel special. He was huge in every way and took the biggest bites out of life. I feel so fortunate to have gotten to spend so many wonderful times with him, to share the stage, to laugh, to record together, just to hang out—but even if you didn’t know him, there was so much love in what he offered the world that you couldn’t help but love him back. And I can’t recall anyone fighting cancer the way he fought it—he was a hero on the court, on the stage, in his fight to live and in everything he did. I send my sincerest, heartfelt prayers of comfort to his wife Regina, the four wonderful Tisdale kids, his family, friends and the millions of fans who adored him.  - Dave Koz
Dave Koz spoke at Wayman's
Memorial Service

Thursday May 21, 2009
Tears mixed with cheers inside a packed Friendship Church on Wednesday night.

Tulsan Wayman Tisdale was fondly remembered during a two-hour "Time to Reflect" service at the church he called home for the 44 years of his life.

"One can picture Wayman smiling big from heaven right now," close friend and musician Carnell Murrell told a standing-room-only sanctuary.

On Thursday, an 11 a.m. memorial service is scheduled at the 18,000-seat BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. Tisdale's casket will be delivered by horse-drawn carriage through the north Tulsa community that he had a profound impact upon.

Tisdale's jazz band will perform at the BOK Center at 10:30. Following a scheduled 2 1/2-hour service, Tisdale will be laid to rest at the Memorial Park Cemetery, where a private service for the family will be held On
Wednesday, a spirit-filled reflection service — highlighted by inspirational words from friends and a booming choir — honored Tisdale, a world-class jazz musician and talented basketball player who always seemed to beam his million-dollar smile.

More than 1,300 attended the event at Friendship, 1709 N. Madison Ave., with another 300 people remaining outside the church to remember a man who died Friday after a two-year battle with cancer.

Organizers said more than 2,000 people paid tribute during an afternoon visitation at the church.

Mike Mims coached Tisdale for six years, splitting time at Booker T. Washington and the University of Oklahoma. On Wednesday night, he began speaking by pointing toward the casket and saying, "the things I've been able to accomplish have Mims brought laughter when he spoke about chastising Tisdale for his "Afro" during the high school days. Tisdale quit the team immediately before older brother William Tisdale told the Hornets coach "Don't worry, I got this."

Later in life, Mims said Wayman Tisdale always ended their conversations with, "I love you, coach."

Close friend Tony Mason also remembered a phone call from Tisdale last month.

"I just wanted to hear your voice," Mason said, replaying Tisdale's words to him. "That's Wayman. 'I just wanted to hear your voice, man. You're my friend.'"

"He could laugh and smile through anything. You never knew when he was hurting," Mason later added. "You never knew when he was sad. You never knew when Wayman was going through anything, because he would show you all 32 of his teeth all the time."

People who came to honor Tisdale's memory came early Wednesday and lined up out the door at Friendship.

Mourners passed Tisdale's open casket, which had an inscription stitched into the side: "Melodies ... from Heaven." A bass guitar was in the casket with Tisdale, as his smooth jazz music softly played over the speakers.

Photos of Tisdale's life were on display, including images of him with his family, as a member of the Phoenix Suns basketball team and two with his guitar.

"He's not suffering any more and is at peace," said Tulsa's Marcita Brewer, one of the first visitors and a niece of Mims. "I feel like he was hurting on the inside and not letting anyone see it.

"He hid it behind that smile."

Jazz Hall of Fame to honor Tisdale today with music event

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame will host a special music celebration Thursday honoring the life and music of jazz artist and sports great Wayman Tisdale.

Presented by the Jazz Hall and drummer Arthur Thompson, the celebration will feature performances by musicians and Tisdale friends Dave Koz, Marcus Miller, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Najee, Tom Braxton, Everette Harp, Kim Waters, Raphael Saadiq, Marvin Saap, Fred Hammond, Mike Philips, Arlington Jones, Bernard Wright, Lenny White, Carnell Murrell, Arthur Thompson and many more.

Emcee will be comedian Jonathan Slocum.

All proceeds for this event will benefit the Wayman Tisdale Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides support and resources to people in need, including individuals with cancer as well as amputees.

It starts at 7 p.m. Thursday.

All tickets are $10 at the Jazz Depot, First Street and Cincinnati Avenue (upper level).

On-site parking is available.

The event is for all ages.

More events will celebrate and honor the basketball and jazz great.

— Jennifer Chancellor, World Scene writer

Family requests donations go to his foundation

Wayman Tisdale’s family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wayman Tisdale Foundation, which Tisdale established to help raise funds for amputees who need prosthetics.

Donations may be made to:

Wayman Tisdale Foundation
c/o Paul Samuels
Morgan Stanley
2200 S. Utica Place, Suite 500
Tulsa, OK 74114
(918) 582-3211 or (800) 877-8651

Cards and letters can be sent to:
Regina K. Tisdale
c/o Friendship Church
1709 N. Madison Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74106

Tisdale’s survivors

Wayman Tisdale, 44, died Friday after a two-year battle with cancer. He was a basketball star and renowned jazz musician. He is survived by:
  • His mother, Deborah Tisdale
  • His wife, Regina
  • His siblings: Brenda Collins, Larry Tisdale, Dannie Tisdale, Weldon Tisdale, William Tisdale
  • His four children: Danielle, Tiffany, Wayman L. II, and Gabrielle
  • His granddaughter, Bailey Braxton.

Celebration of life


8 a.m.: BOK Center doors open.

10:30 a.m.: Tisdale’s jazz band will perform a tribute at the BOK Center.

11 a.m.: “Wayman Tisdale: Celebration of Life” — The Tisdale funeral, BOK Center. Open to the public.

7 p.m.: Benefit concert. Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, 111 e. First St., Tulsa. Tisdale’s band and other musicians to perform. Admission is $10, and all proceeds benefit the Wayman Tisdale Foundation.

The procession

The casket of Wayman Tisdale will be transported to the BOK Center, site of Thursday’s 11 a.m. funeral service, by a horse-drawn carriage.

At about 9:45 a.m. Thursday, the 3-mile procession will begin at the Keith D. Biglow Funeral Directors building, 1414 N. Norfolk Ave., and continue west on Pine Street to Denver Avenue. The procession then will turn south on Denver and end at the BOK Center, 200 S. Denver Ave.

By ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Tulsa World
More to come, check back often!

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