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James Blair Newsome

1970 - 2016
James Blair Newsome Obituary
Newsome, James Blair

July 20, 1970-

February 29, 2016

James B. Newsome was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Cynthia Hunter Newsome and James A. Newsome, DDS. He was loved and admired by his parents and his older sister, Melanie Hunter Newsome. He enjoyed a close relationship with his aunts Constance Hunter Matteson and Susan Lisle Hunter, his uncles Thomas R. Matteson, DDS, and J. Beatty Hunter, MD, and his cousins J. Preston Hunter, R. Hunter Gough and Laura R. Hunter.

Blair grew up in an atmosphere of music, sports and enjoying the company and conversation of friends and family. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church and in June, 1988, he was chosen the Star Kid at graduation time. Blair graduated high school at Albuquerque Academy and then moved on to the University of North Texas at Denton, Texas. North Texas University had one of the most extensive and sought after jazz studies programs in the United States. And therein lies the passion of James Blair Newsome; he was a very talented drummer. He began his studies with the drums at age 12. In a few years, he was named Outstanding Soloist Drummer at the West Mesa Music Festival. He received a #1 rating as a member of a jazz ensemble and was named Outstanding Soloist Drummer at the University of New Mexico Jazz Festival. He was All State Drummer after performing in Las Cruces, November 1987. This tremendous ability was born out of constant practice, a terrific sense of commitment and love of the beat. Besides his superior technique, Blair was known for his flair and style. In addition to working jobs and keeping a B+ average in university classes, Blair was usually playing in 2 or 3 groups.

He played at the Wool Warehouse for "Little Shop of Horrors" and at the Albuquerque Little Theater in "Night Club Confidential". Blair attended the Academy for seven years, was on the Honor Roll, particularly enjoying the Senior Humanities Class. The discussions of philosophy, especially the eastern schools, were provocative in conjunction with his work in tai chi and kenpo karate. Wrestling, soccer, baseball, and track were highlights in his sports experience.

After a year at the University of North Texas, Blair transferred to the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, and was drummer for the jazz band there. His hometown called him, however, and he ended his academic career and received a BA at the University of New Mexico.

Blair Newsome was a spiritual person and eagerly studied the writings of men and women who had dedicated their lives to positive thinking. He worked hard at management jobs, spending the last 10 years at Rio Grande Title Company. Mr. Newsome brought joy, laughter, a love of life and intellectual curiosity to those around him. May he rest in peace.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on June 26, 2016
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