Charlevoix Jazz Poet Dies At Age 84

Jan 10, 2014

Charlevoix poet John Alberts has died. Alberts performed his jazz poetry all around Northern Michigan, often with the accompaniment of musicians.

Poet John Alberts.

“John was a very down-to-earth and thoughtful person – loved jazz,” says Jeff Haas, host of the radio program The New Jazz Archives. He has also been working with Alberts since the early 1990s.

“We considered him to be one of the cats. He wrote jazz poetry. He recited it with a flair for improvisation. He loved being part of public performances and reading his poetry with the music behind him,” says Haas.

Before turning to poetry full-time, Alberts was a teacher and arts administrator.

John Alberts died at his home Saturday, January 4th. He was 84.

Alberts recorded his work with Haas and other jazz musicians this summer in IPR’s recording studio. At that time, he also sat down with IPR Morning Edition Host Brad Aspey to talk about poetry, illness and facing mortality.