at the Shaking Ray Levi Society
are deeply saddened by the
passing of Dennis Palmer, SRLS
co-founder and artistic director
for over 26 years, on February
Chattanooga native Dennis Palmer, 55, was a beloved musician, visual artist, storyteller, educator, mentor, and devoted friend of many.
A singular vocalist and nontraditional musician, called "the world's most colorfully inventive synthesizer player" by Creative Loafing, he co-founded the acclaimed free improvisation group The Shaking Ray Levis with drummer Bob Stagner in 1986, which was the first American band to record an album for the legendary British label Incus Records. Palmer has performed internationally with collaborators including Derek Bailey, Steve Beresford, Reverend Howard Finster, David Greenberger, Col. Bruce Hampton, Shelley Hirsch, Frank Pahl, Roger Turner, and Davey Williams.
As a visual artist, Palmer has exhibited his paintings, silk-screened prints, and other unconventional artwork both locally and internationally in cities including London and Los Angeles, and he has designed many CD and record covers.
A leader in the arts community, Palmer promoted the ideas of improvisation and creativity in thought, performance, and visual art to students of all ages through his work with the Shaking Ray Levi Society and developed outreach programs for under-served populations including students with developmental, emotional, or physical disabilities. Palmer served as President of The Association for Visual Arts (AVA) and on the board of directors for Mark Making, and he taught art in Hamilton County schools.
When teaching children, Dennis would ask them about the last time they had a good feeling. In his own words: "Clap your hands once and put your hands over your heart and give that good feeling to yourself. Next is to clap your hands again and sound off and give that feeling to everybody within the room. The third thing is to clap your hands, sound off and give that feeling out off to the whole universe."
Dennis was an inspiration for many and a strong advocate of "living in the moment" and "doing the highest good for all" in the community and beyond.
Chattanooga Pulse tributes: one, two
Creative Loafing tribute
Times Free Press tribute
Memorial Service for Dennis Palmer
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Visitation: 2 to 4 PM
Service: 4 PM
Chattanooga Funeral Home, East Brainerd Chapel
8214 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421
It is with our deepest sorrow at the Shaking Ray Levi Society that we have learned of the passing of Rev. Terry Fugate on February 13, 2015, who was the first treasurer of the Shaking Ray Levi Society and a co-founder.
We will have strong memories of Terry's infinite kindness, great musical talents, intelligence and rare insight. Terry is a former pastor of St. James Lutheran Church in Brunswick, Georgia and an early member of the Shaking Ray Levis performing group.
Shaking Ray Levi Society is greatly saddened by
the loss of Julian Ray Norwood on February 16,
2014, who was a co-founder and the first
president of The Shaking Ray Levi Society.
Service for Julian Norwood