Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jazz keyboard great Joe Zawinul dies at 75

Keyboardist Joe Zawinul, who played with Miles Davis and helped create the sound of jazz fusion, died from cancer in Vienna on Tuesday, local news agency APA reported, quoting his son Erich.

"Joe Zawinul was born on July 7, 1932 in earth time, and on September 11, 2007 in eternal time. He lives on," APA quoted Erich Zawinul as saying.

Zawinul, 75, had been admitted to the Wilhelmina Clinic in his native city last month. The hospital said it would give a statement later in the day.

Zawinul went to the United States in his 20s and found fame as a keyboardist and a composer in trumpet legend Davis's first electric band, playing on the "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew" albums that pioneered jazz fusion in the late 1960s.

In 1970 he founded Weather Report, a band that did much to bring electric piano, synthesizers and African and Middle Eastern rhythms to mainstream audiences in a jazz setting.

Zawinul has fronted the "Zawinul Syndicate" for the past 20 years. He had planned to give a concert in Vienna's concert hall on September 29.



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