Sad to announce that we’ve read confirmation that jazz/R&B/fusion/funk keyboardist legend George Duke has passed away, aged 67.
Duke was being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia but lost the battle yesterday (5th August), his record label Concord-Telarc confirmed. It follows a difficult year in which his wife Corine died.
His last album, Dreamweaver, was released just days before his death, and had already debuted at number one on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart.
He is survived by his two sons, Rasheed and John.
Here’s how his passing is being reported around the web:
George Duke (born January 12, 1946) was a multi-faceted American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He had worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio.
He was a prominent pianist, organist, synthesizer and keytar player, spanning musical styles as diverse as jazz fusion, R&B, funk, alternative rock, rock and roll, jazz pop, post-disco, and crossover jazz. He recorded almost 40 albums and worked with numerous other prominent musicians including Frank Zappa, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, The Keynotes, Billy Cobham, Anita Baker, Gene Ammons, Alphonse Mouzon, Eddie Henderson and Dianne Reeves.
By popular vote, Duke was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at SoulMusic.com in December 2012.