Her Life

Sandi O and the Equinox Jazz Ensemble

Sandi O - "Conceived in the Bronx, born in Harlem, lived in Brooklyn", was the founder of the Equinox Jazz Ensemble, organized in 1984. Constantly evolving, it drew it's name from the spirited and spiritual compositions of John Coltrane. At every public appearance, the band performed several songs associated with Coltrane.

Sandi O was the leader of this hard-swinging ensemble.  She sang, played flute, wrote arrangements, and composed material specially for the personalities in the band. In her development as both a jazz and classical flutist, Sandi had been a pupil of Hurbert Laws and Harold Jones. Sandi was much a self-taught musician who  "wood-shedded" all her life and "paid her dues" in jazz clubs and concert venues throughout the New York City metropolitan area. The Ensemble performed the music of such renowned composers as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Tad Dameron.They used this music as a launching pad for spirited improvisations that made thier audiences often clap hands and join the party.

 Submitted (but not written) by Jan

A Special Passing

Ms. Sandi Oquendo of 20 Marconi Place, Brooklyn, NY passed away on August 2nd, 2010.
After a long struggle with issues of health, Sandi experienced a stroke on July 27th and died a week later on August 2nd at Brookdale Hospital. She was 61 years young.
She was the beloved sister of Patrick and Edward Oquendo.
The number of close friends that she considered “family” is large, and so she will be missed by many.
Per her wishes, there was no funeral service. Her remains were cremated.
It was her desire, that instead of sadness, a celebration be held in her name. “No gloom and doom” but instead, “lots of music, laughter, stories, family and friends”. A jam session without end.
To that end,  a memorial celebration was held on Sunday, September 5th, 2010 during the annual jazz  festival on Underhill Avenue.


Heaven has gained a very special angel.

J. Mcgill