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In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2019

In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2019
Maxim Micheliov By

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In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to remember the extraordinarily gifted musicians who made an indelible mark on jazz. With sadness, we bid farewell to Joao Gilberto, Doris Day, Andre Previn, Michel Legrand, Ginger Baker, Steve Dalachinsky, Jacques Loussier, Joseph Jarman, Vic Juris, and Jack Sheldon.

Joseph Jarman

Instrument: Saxophone
Born: September 14, 1937
Died: January 9, 2019

Joseph Jarman was an American jazz musician, composer, and Shinshu Buddhist priest. He was one of the first members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

Ethel Ennis

Instrument: Vocalist
Born: November 28, 1932
Died: January 17, 2019

Baltimore native Ethel Ennis was a national treasure. Critics hailed her as "the most accomplished singer performing today." That stature was earned by her magnificent voice, her brilliant compositions, her joyful performances and her collaboration with the finest musicians.

Oliver Mtukudzi

Instrument: Guitar
Born: September 22, 1952
Died: January 23, 2019

Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi was a Zimbabwean musician, businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa Region. Tuku was considered to have been Zimbabwe's most renowned and internationally recognized cultural icon of all time.

Michel Legrand

Instrument: Piano
Born: February 24, 1932
Died: January 26, 2019

Michel Jean Legrand was a French musical composer, arranger, conductor, and jazz pianist. Legrand was a prolific composer, having written over 200 film and television scores, in addition to many songs.

Kofi Burbridge

Instrument: Flute
Born: September 22, 1961
Died: February 15, 2019

Kofi Burbridge was an American keyboardist and flautist of the blues and blues rock group Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Jim Miller

Instrument: Drums
Born: June 13, 1954
Died: February 25, 2019

Miller was a highly sought drummer, recording and playing with many nationally known artists, including Philly greats like Johnny Coles, John Blake Jr., Al Grey, Reggie Workman, Larry McKenna, Richie Cole, Charles Fambrough, Randy Brecker, Buddy DeFranco, and Tyrone Brown. Miller regularly played and recorded with small groups led by singer Evelyn Simms, fusion-pioneer pianist Eddie Green, and baritone saxophonist Denis DiBlasio.

Andre Previn

Instrument: Piano
Born: April 6, 1929
Died: February 28, 2019

André George Previn KBE was a German-American pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor. His career was three-pronged. Starting by arranging and composing Hollywood film scores for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Previn was involved in the music for over 50 films over his entire career.

Ed Bickert

Instrument: Guitar
Born: November 29, 1932
Died: February 28, 2019

Canadian Jazz Guitarist Edward Isaac "Ed" Bickert established himself as one of the top (if not the top) Toronto studio and jazz guitarist in the 60's. He was fortunate enough to play with touring US jazz-men that came through Toronto and were willing to use the "house" rhythm section.

Jacques Loussier

Instrument: Piano
Born: October 26, 1934
Died: March 5, 2019

Jacques Loussier was a French pianist and composer well known for his jazz interpretations, arranged for trio, of many of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, such as the Goldberg Variations.

Hal Blaine

Instrument: Drums
Born: February 25, 1929
Died: March 11, 2019

Hal Blaine may well be the most prolific drummer in rock and roll history. He's certainly played on more hit records than any drummer in the rock era, including 40 #1 singles and 150 that made the Top Ten. Eight of the records he played on won Grammys for Record of the Year.

Dave Samuels

Instrument: Vibraphone
Born: October 9, 1948
Died: April 22, 2019

David Alan Samuels was an American vibraphone and marimba player who spent many years with the contemporary jazz group Spyro Gyra. His recordings and live performances during that period also reflect his prowess on the steelpan, a tuned percussion instrument of Trinidadian origin.

Mansur Scott

Instrument: Percussion
Died: May 6, 2019

Vocalist/percussionist extraordinaire Mansur Scott, known all over New York City as a serious sage and "the jazz mayor of Harlem" is the epitome of a working jazz musician. He has been on the front lines, pushing the music forward, making it visible, boldly, and making it strongly heard throughout all of the boroughs of the city for decades.

Mike Migliore

Instrument: Saxophone
Born: October 16, 1954
Died: May 13, 2019

One of NYC's busiest saxophonists for decades Mike Migliore worked with Gerry Mulligan, Woody Herman, Vanguard Orchestra, Machito, Chico O'Farrill, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Doc Severinson, Bob Belden Ensemble and many others touring most of Europe, Japan, and the U.S.

Doris Day

Instrument: Vocalist
Born: April 3, 1922
Died: May 13, 2019

Doris Day (born Doris Mary Anne Kappelhof) was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist. She began her career as a big band singer in 1939, achieving commercial success in 1945 with two No. 1 recordings, "Sentimental Journey" and "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time" with Les Brown & His Band of Renown. She left Brown to embark on a solo career and recorded more than 650 songs from 1947 to 1967.

Leon Redbone

Instrument: Guitar, acoustic
Born: August 26, 1949
Died: May 30, 2019

Leon Redbone was a noted American guitarist and singer, known for his stylized performances of early jazz and blues songs.

Lawrence Leathers

Instrument: Drums
Born: November 23, 1981
Died: June 2, 2019

Lawrence "Lo" Leathers was an American jazz drummer who played on two of Cécile McLorin Salvant's albums that have won Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

Dr. John

Instrument: Piano
Born: November 21, 1940
Died: June 6, 2019

Malcolm John Rebennack Jr., better known by his stage name Dr. John, was a six-time Grammy Award-winning musician and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Known throughout the world as the embodiment of New Orleans' musical legacy, Dr. John is a true icon in American culture.

Duncan Lamont

Instrument: Saxophone, tenor
Born: July 1, 1931
Died: July 2, 2019

Duncan Lamont played with almost everyone in show business. He worked (often as a featured soloist) with Henry Mancini, Robert Farnon, Benny Goodman, Gil Evans, Bill Holman, Nelson Riddle, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Count Basie, Fred Astaire, Benny Carter, Mel Torme, Paul McCartney.

Paolo Vinaccia

Instrument: Drums
Born: March 27, 1954
Died: July 5, 2019

Paolo Vinaccia was an Italian composer, jazz drummer, and percussionist who relocated permanently to Norway in 1979. He worked with guitarists Terje Rypdal and Knut Reiersrud, double bassist Arild Andersen, drummer Jon Christensen, keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft and saxophonist Bendik Hofseth, along with Danish trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg and many more.

Joao Gilberto

Instrument: Vocalist
Born: June 10, 1931
Died: July 6, 2019

João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira, known as João Gilberto, was a Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist, who was a pioneer of the musical genre of bossa nova in the late 1950s. Around the world he was often called "father of bossa nova"; in his native Brazil, he was referred to as "O Mito."

Arno Marsh

Instrument: Saxophone
Born: May 28, 1928
Died: July 12, 2019

Arno Marsh was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States, Marsh played early on in local dance bands, then played in Woody Herman's ensemble from 1951 to 1953, where he soloed frequently on Herman's Mars Records releases.

Joe Longthorne

Instrument: Vocalist
Born: May 31, 1955
Died: August 3, 2019 Joseph Patrick Daniel Longthorne MBE was an English singer and impressionist. He performed on stage and television and released three platinum albums.

Bob Wilber

Instrument: Clarinet
Born: March 15, 1928
Died: August 4, 2019

Robert Sage Wilber was an American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, and band leader. Although his scope covers a wide range of jazz, Wilber was a dedicated advocate of classic styles, working throughout his career to present traditional jazz pieces in a contemporary manner.

Clora Bryant

Instrument: Trumpet
Born: May 30, 1929
Died: August 23, 2019

Clora Larea Bryant was an American jazz trumpeter. She performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker and was a member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm.

Steve Dalachinsky

Instrument: Poet/spoken word
Born: September 29, 1946
Died: September 15, 2019

Steven Donald Dalachinsky was an American downtown New York City poet, active in the music, art, and free jazz scenes.

George Hanepen

Instrument: Guitar, acoustic
Died: September 6, 2019

Born in Indonesia, George Hanepen performed extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area during the height of the modern jazz movement.

Harold Mabern

Instrument: Piano
Born: March 20, 1936
Died: September 19, 2019

Harold Mabern Jr. was an American jazz pianist and composer, principally in the hard bop, post-bop, and soul jazz fields. He is described in The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings as "one of the great post-bop pianists."

Larry Willis

Instrument: Piano
Born: December 20, 1942
Died: September 29, 2019

Lawrence Elliott Willis was an American jazz pianist and composer. He performed in a wide range of styles, including jazz fusion, Afro- Cuban jazz, bebop, and avant-garde. Willis was born in New York City.

Ginger Baker

Instrument: Drums
Born: August 19, 1939
Died: October 6, 2019

Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker was an English drummer and a co-founder of the rock band Cream. His work in the 1960s and 1970s earned him the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer," for a style that melded jazz and African rhythms and pioneered both jazz fusion and world music.

Ray Santos

Instrument: Composer/conductor
Born: December 28, 1928
Died: October 17, 2019

Raymond Santos was an American Grammy Award-winning Latin musician. He was born December 28, 1928 in New York City to Puerto Rican parents. He attended the Juilliard School of Music where he studied saxophone.

Jan Erik Kongshaug

Instrument: Guitar
Born: July 4, 1944
Died: November 5, 2019

Jan Erik Kongshaug was a Norwegian sound engineer, jazz guitarist, and composer. He was particularly known for some 700 recordings for ECM Records made from 1970 onwards.

Eddie Duran

Instrument: Guitar
Born: September 6, 1925
Died: November 22, 2019

Edward Lozano Duran was an American jazz guitarist from San Francisco. He recorded often with Vince Guaraldi and was a member of the Benny Goodman orchestra during the 1970s.

Emil Richards

Instrument: Percussion
Born: September 2, 1932
Died: December 13, 2019

Emil Richards born Emilio Joseph Radocchia was an American vibraphonist and percussionist.

Jack Sheldon

Instrument: Trumpet
Born: November 30, 1931
Died: December 27, 2019

Jack Sheldon was one of the Original Lions of the West Coast Sound. Jack's a premier improviser, is one of only a handful of trumpet players...

Vic Juris

Instrument: Guitar
Born: September 26, 1953
Died: December 31, 2019

Vic Juris, was jazz guitarist of astounding abilities perhaps best known for his 23-year tenure in David Liebman's band.

Bio excerpts courtesy All About Jazz, Wikipedia, or artist website.

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