In an interview with All About Jazz, bassist Jymie Merritt talked about the “Forerunners” jazz workshops:
JM: So I started a workshop at the Tuskegee Clubhouse, and I got Kenny Lowe, the late, gifted pianist, the drummer Donald Bailey (we called him Duck), singer September Wrice and the saxophonist Odean Pope. And we kept it going for five years until I went with Max Roach.
AAJ: So the “Forerunners” was an ongoing workshop.
JM: Yes, and then we got to play on Sundays at Father Paul Washington’s church [Church of the Advocate], and I used that opportunity to go beyond the kind of bass playing I’d been exposed to, in order to develop new forms and build from that.