Legendary Jazz Pianist Chick Corea Dies at 79

MUSIC WORLD LOSES A JAZZ ICON
PIANIST CHICK COREA DIES AT 79

February 11, 2021 – Chick Corea passed away on February 9th at the age of 79 from a rare form of cancer which was only discovered very recently.

Born in 1941 in Massachusetts, the iconic keyboardist, composer and bandleader was a DownBeat Hall of Famer and NEA Jazz Master, as well as one of the most nominated artists in GRAMMY Awards history with 67 nods – and 23 wins, in addition to 4 Latin GRAMMYS. From straight-ahead to avant-garde, bebop to jazz-rock fusion, children’s songs to chamber and symphonic works, Chick touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his career since playing with the genre-shattering bands of Miles Davis in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

While one would expect the 20th century to have been the apex of Corea’s career, he was certainly as productive in the 21st. Whether playing acoustic piano or electric keyboards, leading multiple bands, performing solo or collaborating with a who’s who of musicians, Chick’s career never paused. Underscoring this, he was named Artist of the Year three times between 2014 and 2018 in the DownBeat Readers Poll, a publication that called him “a pianist virtually without peer.”

“A portrait of relentless artistic pursuit and expression, Chick Corea’s passing is a monumental loss to the music world and to Concord,” said Chief Label Executive Tom Whalley. “For 24 years, Concord was Chick’s home and we have been honored all the while by his artistic talents and his presence as a human being.

“Recording in a wide variety of musical styles and instrumental ensembles, Chick demonstrated technical prowess always informed by taste and virtuosity. For five decades, generations of musicians and music fans have been inspired by his both his compositions, performance and recordings.

“Concord is proud of its lengthy relationship with Chick which allowed us to bear witness to a life and career lead brilliantly. Forever thanks for your impactful contribution to the world.”

Remaining a tireless creative spirit who continually reinvented himself through his art, Corea’s remarkable discography with Concord includes Five Peace Band Live with guitarist John McLaughlin, The Musician, The Vigil, Two with banjoist Béla Fleck, Chinese Butterfly with drummer Steve Gadd, Antidote and Trilogy 2. Corea’s latest recording, Plays, a captivating and intimate double album of solo performances, was released on September 11th, 2020. On November 25th, 2020 he earned his 66th and 67th GRAMMY nominations in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Improvised Jazz Solo categories for his album Trilogy 2 and the track “All Blues.”

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