Obituary

Back in 2014, Chick Corea visited The Checkout to promote Portraits, an solo album celebrating artists he admired. Instead, the pianist gave us a clear picture of himself.

Drummer, scientist, educator and improviser Milford Graves died in his Queens, N.Y. home around 3 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 12. He was 79. Lois, his wife of sixty-one years, confirmed to NPR that the cause was congestive heart failure, related to a 2018 diagnosis of amyloid cardiomyopathy. Mr.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and accordionist Flory Jagoda worked hard to preserve the music and language she inherited from her Sephardic Jewish ancestors in her adopted American home. Named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002, she died on Jan. 29 at age 97 in Alexandria, Va. at a long-term memory care facility, according to an obituary placed by her family.

This story was updated at 9:28 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 11.

The keyboardist, composer and bandleader Chick Corea — one of the most revered figures in contemporary jazz, but an artist whose work spanned fusion to classical — died on Feb. 9 at age 79.

French jazz pianist, bandleader and composer Claude Bolling, whose work spanned jazz clubs, the big screen, and Carnegie Hall, died Tuesday at the age of 90. His death was announced by his representatives.

Jeff Clayton, an alto saxophonist and flutist who cut a wide swath as a sideman, and who stood front and center in the Clayton Brothers Quintet and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, died on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Stanley Cowell, a pianist, composer and educator who demonstrated a vast range of possibilities for jazz over the last 50 years, died on Thursday at Bayhealth Hospital in Dover, Del. He was 79.

The cause was Hypovolemic shock as a result of other health complications, said trumpeter Charles Tolliver, one of Cowell’s closest musical associates.

Anthony Dean

(Note: this profile was written prior to the passing of Mr. Barnes in April, 2020) Tenor giant Bootsie Barnes has been the epitome of a “Hometown Hero” for most of his 82 years. He’s never left the city, instead becoming a cornerstone of the Philadelphia jazz scene, remaining constant even as styles and generations changed around him.

Toshinori Kondo, an improvising trumpeter whose daring instinct and deep expressive resources slashed through a spectrum of experimental and ambient music, died on Saturday in Kawasaki, Japan. He was 71.

His sons, Sora Kondo and Yota Kondo, announced his death on his website, noting that he died peacefully. No cause was given.

Heroes never fade from memory. Last year, on Sept. 30, 2019, the great American soprano Jessye Norman died suddenly. She was just 74.

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