On last Sunday, the Westin and the Club at Savannah Harbor dedicated the new Benjamin Tucker Pavilion, an entertainment venue honoring the local jazz great musician. He was a member of the Savannah Harbor family.
“For me personally, Ben was a very close friend,’’ said Westin General Manager, Mark Spadoni. “He was a partner with the resort, he played his jazz brunch for us for many years, and this is our opportunity to create a legacy for Ben here at the resort, hopefully for a very long time.’’
The audience was filled with supporters of Ben Tucker. Most importantly, his widow, Gloria Tucker was in attendance to witness this grand occasion. Spadoni continued to tell the attendees the many ways the Club will honor Ben Tucker including renaming the 9th hole to “Coming Home Baby”, one of Tucker’s original tunes.
The dedication was held prior to the Duke Ellington tribute which was presented by the Coastal Jazz Association. The Association has recently returned to the Club at Savannah Harbor to hold their monthly concerts.
“It’s all about Ben,’’ said fellow jazz musician, and President of the Coastal Jazz Association Howard Paul as he displayed Tucker’s restored bass “We’re thrilled that people remember him, but we’re also delighted that this is a place where people will come and celebrate his life.’’
The pavilion, originally built in 2003, adjacent to the golf clubhouse at The Club at Savannah harbor, was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. It was rededicated in honor of Tucker and will be a venue with a view of the golf course, frequent parties, and monthly concerts by the Coastal Jazz Association.
“He was much more than a musician,’’ said Spadoni. “He was an amazing man.
“Ben was a multi-faceted person,’’ added Teddy Adams, who met Tucker in 1967 and played music with him for nearly five decades. “He was known as a jazz musician, but he was also civically involved. They will remember him as a very good golfer, they will remember him as a very involved citizen, and of course, for his contribution to the art form of jazz. t’s a great tribute,’’ said Adams, “to someone who deserves it.