RIP

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Andrew White, a multi-instrumentalist, composer, musicologist and entrepreneur who proudly styled himself “the most voluminously productive self-industrialized musician in history,” died on Nov. 11 at an assisted living facility in Washington, D.C. He was 78.

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Candido Camero, a virtuoso percussionist who had a major hand — or more precisely, two of them — in the development of Afro-Cuban music, died today at his home in New York City.  He was 99.

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Ira Sullivan, who distinguished himself as both a trumpeter and a saxophonist during a modern jazz career spanning more than 65 years, leaving a durable legacy on the Chicago scene as well as the field of jazz education, died on Sept. 21 at his home in Miami, Fla. He was 89.

Stanley Crouch, Towering Jazz Critic, Dead At 74

Sep 16, 2020

Stanley Crouch, the lauded and fiery jazz critic, has died. According to an announcement by his wife, Gloria Nixon-Crouch, Stanley Crouch died at the Calvary Hospital in New York on Wednesday, following nearly a decade of serious health issues.

Jimmy Katz

Gary Peacock, who died on Sept. 4 at 85, was a bassist who truly lived in the moment. That was the case every time he picked up his instrument, and no less true of an engaging interview with The Checkout in 2014, at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. 

Ronald "Khalis" Bell, a co-founder, songwriter, saxophonist, vocalist and producer of the chart-topping group Kool & The Gang, died Wednesday morning at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was 68.

Bell's death was confirmed by a Universal Music publicist, though no cause was provided.

Willie Torres, whose bell-like tone and nimble phrasing helped make him one of the most recorded singers in Latin music, died at South Lake Hospital in Claremont, Fla. on Aug. 13. He was 90. 

Gary Peacock, a versatile bassist who collaborated with some of the 20th century's most notable jazz musicians, has died. He was 85.

His family confirmed in a statement to NPR that Peacock died peacefully Friday, Sept. 4, at his home in upstate New York. No cause of death was provided.

Over a career that spanned seven decades, he played on recordings alongside Albert Ayler, Paul Bley, Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, among many others.

Bill May / williamwmay.net

Charli Persip, whose career as a leading jazz drummer included close associations with Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Weston and many others — along with nearly 40 years at the helm of his own big band, SuperSound — died at Mt. Sinai Morningside in New York City on Sunday.

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Johnny Mandel, a composer and orchestrator who brought emotional depth and a sophisticated sheen to the realms of popular song, television and film, died on Monday at his home in Ojai, Calif. He was 94.

Clay Walker

Freddy Cole, whose debonair yet unassuming vocal style lighted his way through a distinguished jazz career, in and out of the shadow of his older brother Nat “King” Cole, died on Saturday at his home in Atlanta, Ga.

Jorge Santana, who died on May 14, left behind an impressive but often undervalued body of work.

He was a formidable guitarist, and while he never received the same attention as his older brother, Carlos, he deserves much wider recognition. This selection of tracks is a good place to start.

Courtesy of the artist

Lucky Peterson, a keyboardist, guitarist and singer whose blues career kicked off with a novelty hit at age 5, eventually sprawling over dozens of albums and thousands of high-octane gigs, died in Dallas, Tx. on May 17. He was 55.

His death was announced on his Facebook page. Blues guitarist Shawn Kellerman, his longtime friend and band mate, said the cause was a stroke.

Jorge Santana, a guitarist known for his central role in the Latin rock band Malo, as well as his collaborations with the Fania All Stars, died on May 14. He was 68.

His older brother, Carlos Santana, announced his death on Facebook. The family said Jorge died of natural causes.

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Holli Ross was one of my favorite singers and dearest friends. She passed early Saturday morning after several years fighting cancer.  

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

Little Richard, the self-described "king and queen" of rock and roll and an outsize influence on everyone from David Bowie to Prince, died Saturday in Tullahoma, Tenn. He was 87 years old.

Bill Sobel, a lawyer for Little Richard, tells NPR that the cause of death was bone cancer. Rolling Stone was the first to report on Little Richard's death.

Aaron Jackendoff / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Richie Cole, an alto saxophonist, bandleader and composer with a steadfast commitment to the hard-driving verities of bebop, died on May 2 at his home in Carnegie, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh. He was 72.

Drummer Tony Allen has died at age 79. He is widely hailed as one of the founders of Afrobeat alongside his longtime musical partner Fela Kuti, with whom he played for 15 years.

Allen died Wednesday evening in Paris of a heart attack, his manager, Eric Trosset, told NPR. Trosset told Agence France-Presse that Allen took ill in the afternoon and was taken to the Hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou, where he died.

Louis Armstrong House Museum

Michael Cogswell, a jazz archivist and historian who took the lead in turning Louis Armstrong’s modest home into the Louis Armstrong House Museum, a cherished New York institution and a site of pilgrimage, died on Monday. He was 66.

Peter Gannushkin / DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET

Henry Grimes met with a hero’s welcome, his first of many, when he lugged an upright bass onstage at the eighth annual Vision Festival.

Peter Gannushkin / downtownmusic.net

Giuseppi Logan, a saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist whose esteemed career in free jazz bracketed a mysterious absence of almost 40 years, died on Friday at the Lawrence Nursing Care Center in Far Rockaway, Queens. He was 84.

Frans Schellekens/Redferns / Getty Images

Lee Konitz, an exemplar of modern jazz improvisation, and arguably the most influential alto saxophone soloist after bebop progenitor Charlie Parker, died on Wednesday at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. He was 92.

His son, Josh Konitz, said the cause was pneumonia, related to COVID-19.

Allen Spatz

Professor Joe Torres, a pianist who came to the public’s attention with salsa bandleader and trombonist Willie Colón, died on Monday at a senior home in the Bronx. He was 76.

Percussionist José Mangual, Jr., a close friend and longtime band mate, said he died of natural causes.

J. Elon Goodman / courtesy of Truth Revolution Records

Andy González, who died on April 9 in the Bronx, was a bassist who followed in the footsteps of seminal Latin players like Israel “Cachao” López and Bobby Rodriguez, eventually joining their ranks as one of the most important figures on the instrument.

Courtesy of the artist

Jymie Merritt, a bassist who anchored some of the leading groups of jazz’s postwar era, like Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, before establishing his own sphere of influence as a composer and theorist in Philadelphia, died on Friday. He was 93.

Richard Teitelbaum, an electronic artist, keyboardist and composer who combined an interest in non-western musical languages with a focus on experimental practice, died on Thursday at HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston, N.Y. His wife, the classical pianist Hiroko Sakurazawa, said the cause was a major stroke. He was 80.

Eddy Davis, a banjoist and bandleader who enjoyed a sprawling career in traditional jazz, most visibly through a decades-long association with Woody Allen, died on Tuesday at Mount Sinai West hospital in New York City. He was 79.

Conal Fowkes, a pianist who worked closely with Davis, notably as a touring duo, said the cause was complications from the coronavirus.

WBGO

Onaje Allan Gumbs, a pianist-composer whose firm foundation in hard bop supported an expansive career in pop-R&B and smooth jazz, died on Monday at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, N.Y. He was 70.

"And, I'll paint your pretty picture with a song" — Bill Withers

WBGO

Wallace Roney, who died on March 31 of complications from the coronavirus, paid a visit to Salon Sessions just last fall.

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