BURLINGTON, Vt. — Five years after his death, Vermont saxophone player Big Joe Burrell has been honored with a statue outside the spot where he played weekly jazz-blues performances with his bandmates.

The statue unveiled Friday outside Halvorson’s Upstreet Cafe in Burlington shows Big Joe holding his saxophone to his lips with one hand and pointing with the other.

Guitarist Dennis Willmott, who played with the band Big Joe Burrell and Friends, told the Burlington Free Press that Burrell struck that pose in 2004 in Grantham, N.H., when he saw an attractive woman in the crowd. The statue was based on a photo taken of him then.

Burrell, who died at 81, and was best known for the Unknown Blues Band, was a staple at area clubs and at Burlington’s Discover Jazz Festival.


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