From the perspective of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, there was no one more perfect to be the featured artist for the public opening of its brand new visitors center next month than jazz musician Anthony Turk Cannon. While Cannon did have excellent credentials after two successful decades as both a composer and saxophonist, it was his family legacy of watermen and a lifelong relationship with the CBMM that made that decision so easy for the museum’s leadership.
The Cannon family story is a powerful one. After generations of watermen working out of St. Michaels, Anthony’s father had different aspirations for his five children than carrying on a family tradition. After a lifetime on the water, Turk, as Anthony’s father was known, pushed hard for his kids to break away and find more secure and safe careers than the backbreaking life on the water.
In Anthony’s case, baseball was his ticket off the Shore. With a full scholarship at Howard University and then a successful career in cyber security with government agencies in Washington, DC, Cannon did fulfill his father’s hopes, but even after most of his adult life in the capital city, it is St. Michaels that remains his real home.
And it was in St. Michaels that Anthony found his love of music. Sadly, though, that passion had to be put on hold during college and while establishing himself in the technology field. But 22 years ago, he found that passion again after visiting some of the District’s best jazz clubs and has blossomed ever since with sold-out concerts at venues like Jazz Alley and the Rams Head.
The Spy sat down with Anthony last week to hear about this remarkable journey, his relationship with CBMM, and what he has planned for December 2 when he once again comes home to St Michaels.
This video is approximately four minutes in length. CBMM is hosting a Grand Opening for its new Welcome Center on Dec. 2 from 10am-4pm. For more information please go here.