It's taken me all my life to learn what not to play. -- Dizzie Gillespie

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Johnny Otis, the musician, bandleader, songwriter, who was often called “the godfather of rhythm and blues,” died on January 17.He was 90.


Legendary performer, Ms. James has taken on blues, jazz, and rock and conquered each genre with her inimitable style. She lost her battle to leukemia  according to her friend and manager Lupe De Leon. She was 73 years old.


Rivers was among the leading figures in the postwar jazz avant-garde and free jazz.


Bob Brookmeyer, a valve trombonist, educator and influential composer/arranger, died Thursday night.He would have been 82 today (December 19,2011).

Robicheaux gained wide acclaim for his swampy, spiritually-influenced brand of guitar blues. He inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame two years ago.

 

One of the most influential jazz musicians of the last 50 years, died on Tuesday in Manhattan.


British piano legend Gordon Beck passed away. He will be remembered for his album Experiments With Pops and as a sophisticated Bill Evans stylist.

The one-time jazz star, who fronted his own group in the 1950s, was renowned as one of the finest arrangers in the business and became jazz great Stan Kenton's maestro. He also signed Miles Davis to Capitol Records and produced his masterpiece Birth of the Cool.But the Sicilian-born Rugolo is perhaps best known for his TV themes for The Fugitive and Run for Your Life.

George “Butch” Ballard accomplished many things in his 92 years, for which he was honored last fall in the Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame. Ballard was known primarily for his stints with Count Basie and Duke Ellington. He also recorded with Louis Armstrong and others, and was said to have played on more than 300 recordings. He continued to play until recent years. In 2006 he received a Mellon Jazz Achievement Award