You are here:Home>Jazz News>Musician Obituaries

Musician Obituaries (50)

Jazz musician George Duke died Monday in Los Angeles at age 67. A pioneer in the funk and R&B genres, he had been battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia, according to his label Concord Music Group, which confirmed his death. "The outpouring of love and support that we have received from my father's friends, fans and the entire music community has been overwhelming," said his son, Rashid Duke, in a statement. "Thank you all for your concern, prayers and support."


RIP Dave McMurdo

Written by
Published in Musician Obituaries

Dave McMurdo (trombonist, composer, arranger, conductor, teacher) was born March 4, 1944 in Isleworth, England. He died the morning of June 13, 2011 in Eden Mills, (just outside Guelph) Ontario. McMurdo is survived by his wife and two children.


A Tribute To Don Joham

Written by
Published in Musician Obituaries

A very famous talented drummer played for some of the most famous Jazz artists and recorded with many to name a few Art Pepper, Art Graham, Vince Guaraldi and more. One of the best that ever played a rare talent. In loving memory: September 14, 1934 to December, 15 2004 …

Hart Wheeler

Born December 22, 1921

Died June 10, 2005

Hartland (Hart) Wheeler was born in Toronto, Canada and had been a professional jazz musician since he was 18 years old. His main influences were Benny Goodman (clarinet) and Ben Webster (tenor sax).

Hart served in the Royal Canadian Air Force Band in World War Two. Hart guested several times for TV/movie director Norman Jewison on his CBC TV series "The Denny Vaughn Show."

He played with the legendary J …

Rodney Richardson, famed and beloved bassist, passed away this morning (Saturday, October 29, 2005) at the age of 88. From New Orleans and a professional musician in his teens, Rodney has been friends with, and worked with, some of the world's most illustrious musicians...Basie, Ellington, Art Tatum, Erroll Garner, Harlan Leonard, the Kansas City Seven, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Miles, Dizzy, Buddy Rich, Monk, Oscar Peterson, Nat King Cole, Freddy Cole, Carmen McRae, Jimmy Wi …

Perry Pattiselano (55), a senior jazz musician and session bass player from Indonesia died as a victim of the Grand Hyatt-Amman bombing last Wednesday November 9, 2005.

He was performing on stage with Sukat, a jazz piano player, and Pinky Safira, a female jazz singer, both also from Indonesia, when it happened and the blast threw him about 20 meters from the point where he was standing. He died on the way to the hospital. Pinky and Sukat survived the attack with minor in …

January 27, 2006 (Atlanta) On the air for only six weeks, internet station Coastal Jazz Radio is moving up steadily in popularity. Out of 320 jazz stations on Live 365's network, Coastal Jazz Radio is currently # 57. The most popular countries listening to Coastal Jazz Radio are the US, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Mexico, Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Colombia, Netherlands, S. Korea, Sweden, Latvia, Thailand, Greece, Italy and Poland.

Billed as an "An Eclectic Mix of Jazz - plus Chill, N …

Julie Lynn Burrell was born in Houston, Texas on July 16, 1963. She died April 25, 2006. Julie is survived by her parents, Thomas G. "Gil" and Kathryn "Katy" Burrell; her brother, John and wife, Joyce Burrell, and niece Mandy, of Manor, Texas; her uncle, Ed Grimm and wife, Ellen Park of Sinton, Texas; special friends, Teresa Pegarari of Covina, California, Steve Craddock of Austin, and numerous other friends and musicians.

She attended Pilgrim Lutheran School in Houston; Redeemer Lutheran Sch …


Obituary by: Joyce E. Blair

Place: New York, NY

June 3, 2006 - Singer and violinist John Franklin Blair passed away on June 3, 2006 of heart failure. A song and sharing memorial service was conducted at the VA Medical Center Manhattan on Thursday, June 8, 2006. John is buried at Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, NY. John was born in Toledo, Ohio on November 8, 1943, and is the eldest of nine ch …

Seattle’s Origin Records announce their new releases for July, now
available everywhere - The Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group, "Live in
Seattle" and The Chris Walden Big Band, "No Bounds," both appear in their
first week to radio in the top 5 most added list on the JazzWeek Airplay

The Joe Locke/ Geoffrey Keezer set, Live in Seattle, feature their award
winning 2005 performance at the Ballard Jazz Festival. Locke, …

Blues legend Sam Myers passed away July 17th in Dallas after a long and valiant battle against throat cancer. He was 70. An award winning harmonica player and vocalist, Myers spent the last 20 years performing and recording with Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets. They were considered one of the top 3 Blues bands in the world, and toured extensively throughout North America and Europe.

Sam was born in Laurel, MS and attended a school for the blind where he was considered …

Canadian jazz news Jazz drummer Bernard Primeau Dies at 67 Renowned Canadian jazz drummer Bernie Primeau died of cancer Monday at St. Luc Hospital in his native Montreal. He was 67. Primeau's death occurred the day before he was to be honoured at the launch of his 11th album at the Salles du Gesù. He had described his latest effort as the album of his career and it will be released as planned. It had already been announced he would not attend the launch due to his health. Best know …

Gino Empry 1923 - 2006

Written by
Published in Musician Obituaries

Gino Empry was Canada’s best-known and most flamboyant publicist and talent booker -- and just about everything else in entertainment! Empry passed away on Saturday, October 14, 2006 in Toronto at the age of 83. It's hard to determine Empry's exact age for sure, since he never disclosed it, and looked decades younger than he actually was.

Over the decades Empry booked and publicized all the ‘greats’ in show business. These incl …

Everyone agrees on one thing: Ahmet Ertegun was far and away the most important behind-the-scenes figure in Rhythm ‘n’ Blues and Soul history. A visionary and true pioneer, his enthusiasm for Jazz and R&B was boundless, and his contributions to this art form throughout the last half of the 20th century are unprecedented. Soul, Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, Jazz, and even Rock ‘n’ Roll prospered under the auspices of his singular ability to spot, nurture, and produce talen …


Internationally renowned tenor saxophonist and composer Michael Brecker an 11-time Grammy Award winner died of leukemia on January 13 at age 57. Brecker was afflicted with MDS, myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disorder.

As a result of his harmonic and stylistic innovations, Brecker was the most studied contemporary instrumentalist in music schools throughout the world. During his acclaimed career, Brecker delighte …

Pookie Hudson, lead vocalist of the Spaniels, passed away recently at age 72 after battling lung cancer for a couple years. Until the very end, he was totally engaged in his life’s calling, still performing and recording throughout 2006, and thrilling fans who have been delighting to his artistry for over a half century. The Spaniels signature tune was "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight". An R&B smash in 1954, the McGuire Sisters bland rush copy stormed …

Napoleon "Chico" Chism, one of the most well traveled and busiest blues drummers of the 20th century, passed away Jan 28, 2007 at age 79. His health had been in decline since he suffered a stroke in 2002 in his adopted state of Arizona where he had resided in Phoenix since 1986.

Chism is probably best known as Howlin’ Wolf’s last drummer, but he managed to play, tour, and record with practically every major blues artist as well. &nb …

Washington area jazz vocalist and educator Ronnie Wells-Elliston passed away March 7 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 64.

Ms. Wells-Elliston was a pillar of the Washington jazz scene for more than three decades. Born Veronica Burke, she was a 1960 graduate of Washington's Cardozo High School. She attended Howard University and held administrative jobs over the years with federal agencies and private businesses.

Ronnie began singing p …

DC Jazz Legend Ronnie Wells passed on March 7, 2007, in Silver Spring, MD. For over 30 years Ronnie Wells was known as one of the top jazz vocalist on the East Coast but that description is limiting and incomplete. She was also an educator and mentor to many emerging jazz artists in the Washington, DC area and since the founding of the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Fund, internationally.

Getting her start as a "house vocalist" at the Top O'Foolery in DC, Ronnie developed her unique s …

Page 1 of 3