Here's a chronological listing of jazz-related deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), updated as we receive them. Our profound sympathies to their families, friends and fans as we remember the musical legacies they have given us.
- Argentina-born jazz saxophonist Marcelo Peralta, died in Madrid on March 10. He was 59. Peralta moved to Spain in 1996.
- Congolese singer Arlus Mabele, the king of soukous, an Afro-Caribbean dance rhythm similar to the rhumba, died March 19 in Paris. He was 66.
- New York City-based pianist,composer writer and educator Mike Longo died on March 21, two days after his 81st birthday. He was the musical director and pianist in trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie’s band for many years.
- Camaroon-born Afro-jazz saxophonist, arranger, conductor and former jazz club operator (Leopoldville, Belgian Congo's Tam-Tam) Manu Dibango. He died March 24 in Paris. He was 86. He worked extensively in France and Belgium.
- Swedish trombonist Olle Holmquist died March 25. He was 83.
- Denver jazz saxophonist Freddy Rodriguez Sr. died March 25. He was 89.
- Los Angeles-based saxophonist and big-band leader Pat Longo died on March 26. He was 90.
- Drummer, bandleader and educator Dick Bennett (born John Beneduce) died March 26 in New York. He was 85. After performing with trumpeter Leonard Sues quintet, he led the Souvenirs Orchestra and the M.A.S. Swing big band. He taught at the Gene Krupa/Cozy Cole drum studios before opening his own studio.
- Jazz, blues, gospel and rock guitarist Wayman Henry, 66, died March 27. He lived in Mobile, Alabama.
Wallace Roney, 2009
- Pianist Joseph Fogarty of Huntington, Long Island, NY, died March 29. He was 77.
- Trumpeter Wallace Roney, bandleader and Miles Davis protege, died March 31. He was 59.
- Bassist Alex Layne, a longtime fixture on the NYC jazz scene, died March 31. He was 80.
- Pianist, composer, educator and NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of the Marsalis family of jazz musicians, died April 1. He was 85.
- Clarinetist and French Quarter Festival board member Alex Lewis died April 1 in New Orleans. He was 75.
Bucky Pizzarelli, the father of singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli and
bassist Martin Pizzarelli, died April 1 in New Jersey. He was 94.
Bucky Pizzarelli, 2009
- Drummer Lysa (Lee-sa) Dawn Robinson, who played both jazz and rock, died April 2 at Lankenau Medical Center near Philadelphia. She was 55. Among others, she played with Pink and Billy Paul, as well as Philly jazz guitarist Monnette Sudler.
Violist Vincent Lionti died April 4. He was 60. A NY Metropolitan Opera orchestra member for more than 30 years and Westchester Youth Orchestra conductor, he performed on jazz recordings by singers Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Harry Connick Jr., Jane Monheit, Aaron Neville and Steve Tyrell, bassist Charlie Haden, pianist Steve Kuhn and saxophonist Joshua Redman.
- Singer Jan Fourney died at her home in New York City on April 6. She was 66.
- Pianist, producer and composer David Horowitz died April 6 in New York. He was 77. In addition to leading his own quintet, he performed with the Gil Evans Orchestra, drummer Tony Williams’ Lifetime band and folksinger Tom Paxton.
producer Hal Willner died on April 7, one day after his 64th
birthday. He was a long-time sketch music producer for “Saturday Night Live,”
music coordinator for the Jools Holland and David Sanborn-hosted “Night Music”
TV series, which ran from 1988-90, and produced a wide range of recordings and
tribute compilations, including jazz.
Woody Allen, Eddy Davis, 2008
- Banjo player, singer and composer Eddy Davis, leader of Woody Allen’s jazz band since the 1980s, died April 7. He was 79.
Pianist and educator Dave Roper of Bethlehem PA died April 8. He was 82.
- Sam Hargress Jr., owner of Harlem's Paris Blues jazz club, died April 10, one day after his 84th birthday.
Lee Konitz, 2014
- Boston-area bassist Ray Rose died April 15. He was 93.
- Bassist, violinist and poet Henry Grimes died April 15 in New York. He was 84. He returned to the jazz scene in 2004 after a 35-year absence during which he was living in obscurity in Los Angeles.
- Saxophonist Giuseppi Logan died April 17 in New York. He was 84. He returned to New York's free-jazz jazz scene in 2009 after an absence of nearly 40 years.
- Reed player and educator Paul Shelden, who worked in both classical and jazz genres, died April 17 in Hewlett NY. He was 79. Principally a clarinetist, the former Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music director had performed with Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
French guitarist Jacques Pellen died April 21. He was 63. Born and based in Brittany, he founded the late 1980s collective Celtic Procession. He also worked with flutist Sylvain Barou, percussionist Trilok Gurtu and trumpeter Paolo Fresu, among many others.