NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Residents of a neighborhood in Brooklyn have started an online petition to convince city officials the honor jazz great Max Roach by renaming a street after him.
Roach is considered a pioneer of bebop and played with everyone from Duke Ellington to Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. He died in 2007 when he was 83.
The amount of support—thousands of signatures—came as a pleasant surprise to his daughter Dara Roach. Fans of a late drummer want to see him honored by his old neighborhood in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
"Bed-Stuy was central even when he wasn't here—it was central to his life," Dara said. "And, I think, emotionally where he drew his culture and his arts from."
The elder Roach grew up in Bed-Stuy, where he learned how to play.
"The churches around here used to have a big competition where the marching bands would show off their style," Dara said. "I like to say he got a lot of his unique technique."
Dara said she didn't know about the Change.org petition to name a street after her father in the neighborhood until she saw it on social media.
"It's something I feel really would honor my dad and his memory and his legacy so beautifully because he really had a connection to Bed-Stuy," she said. "And he had a connection to Brooklyn."
Roach was not only among the most important and influential artists of his generation, he was also dedicated to civil rights. Dara showed us a photo of Malcolm X in Harlem from the personal family photo album.
"He used to talk about the democracy of being in a band, where everybody had a voice, especially a jazz band," Dara said. "So that's the way he envisioned the world, actually, and that's the way he wanted the world to be."
She said her father "would be thrilled" to have a street named after him.
"He'd be honored to be considered a son of Brooklyn—a son of Bed-Stuy specifically," Dara said.
No word yet from city leaders if it is a possibility.