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Home > News > Report

Jazz legend Joe Zawinul dead

Rediff Entertainment Bureau | September 11, 2007 19:30 IST

The man who took jazz keyboards to the stratosphere was grounded on Tuesday.

The legendary Joe Zawinul, one of the creators of jazz-rock fusion music, passed away into the ages in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday.

He was born in the same city on July 7, 1932.

In between, he fronted what was arguably the most influential jazz-rock band of all time, Weather Report, played with jazz legend Miles Davis on the trumpet maestro's seminal albums like In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew and merged jazz with rock, European folk and science fiction.

He came to the United States in 1958 to study at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and released his first solo album in 1970. But it was with Weather Report, along with Jaco Pastorius -- who was to the bass guitar what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric guitar --- and saxophone great Wayne Shorter, that Zawinul broke all boundaries in jazz and introduced the American classical art form to a whole new generation of listeners.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Zawinul Syndicate, which he founded after Weather Report, and which also featured Indian-American jazz guitarist Amit Chatterjee.  

External links:

BBC profile of Joe Zawinul
Read a 1998 interview with Zawinul