According to his publicist, Wayne Shorter, a Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer who contributed to the development of contemporary jazz, has passed away.
Shorter passed away on Thursday in Los Angeles, according to an email from his publicist at Blue Note Records, Cem Kurosman. Nobody disclosed the cause of death.
He was 89.
Throughout his career, Shorter was nominated for 23 Grammy Awards and won 12 of them. In 1973, he received his first Grammy nomination. His most recent victory came in January for “Endangered Species,” his finest improvisational jazz solo performance.
He played jazz piano with Horace Silver after graduation in 1956 up until he was enlisted in the Army. According to the artist’s biography on Bluenote.com, he served for two years.
Prior to enrolling in New York University in 1952, Shorter focused on the tenor sax after starting to play the clarinet at the age of 16.
Shorter worked with musicians including Maynard Ferguson, Joe Zawinul, and Art Blakey in a variety of jazz groups throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was invited to join jazz trumpet great Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet in 1964 and was a member of the group until 1970.
Shorter was one of the Second Great Quintet band’s most productive songwriters, working on successes like “Nefertiti” alongside Davis.
Shorter collaborated with a variety of jazz performers and bands in the 1970s and 1980s. He co-founded and played with Zawinul and Miroslav Vitous in the band Weather Report for 15 years, up until 1985. Afterwards, Shorter worked with a number of legendary rock musicians. In addition to playing saxophone on the Rolling Stones’ 1997 smash album “Bridges to Babylon,” he performed with Carlos Santana in 1988. Shorter also appeared on the “Gershwin World” CD by jazz pianist Herbie Hancock in 1998.
Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan are two more well-known performers Shorter has collaborated with. Together with renowned rock musician and accomplished saxophonist David Bowie, Shorter got an honorary doctorate from the Berklee School of Music in 1999.
“Wayne and I were just so moved to hear our compositions returning to us through your ears and skills,” said Wayne. Bowie proclaimed it to be explosive in his commencement speech. During NYU’s commencement ceremony at Yankee Stadium in 2010, Shorter was presented with an honorary degree. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy, which oversees the Grammy Awards, in 2015. Also recognised at the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors presentation was Shorter.
In a statement provided to CNN on Thursday by Shorter’s publicist Alisse Kingsley of Muse Media, Hancock referred to Shorter as his “best friend” and added that the musician “leaves us with courage in his heart, love and compassion for everybody, and a yearning spirit for the eternal future.” Hancock stated, “I always carry his soul within my heart.
According to a statement from his publicist, Shorter is survived by his wife Carolina, daughters Miyako and Mariana, and his new-born grandson Max.
- Jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter passed away at the age of 89
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