The Artists We Lost in 2019

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From jazz pianists and r&b firebrands to avant-garde stalwarts, DownBeat offers a look back at some of the musicians, artists and writers we lost during 2019.

Ginger Baker (1939–2019)

Clora Bryant (1927–2019)

Frank Caruso (1948–2019)

Dr. John (1941–2019)

João Gilberto (1931–2019)

Ira Gitler (1928–2019)

Joseph Jarman (1937–2019)

Michel Legrand (1932–2019)

Harold Mabern (1936–2019)

Ken Nordine (1948–2019)

Larry Willis (1942–2019)



  • Casey_B_2011-115-Edit.jpg

    Benjamin possessed a fluid, round sound on the alto saxophone, and he was often most recognizable by the layers of electronic effects that he put onto the instrument.

  • David_Sanborn_by_C_Andrew_Hovan.jpg

    Sanborn’s highly stylized playing and searing signature sound — frequently ornamented with thrill-inducing split-tones and bluesy bent notes — influenced generations of jazz and blues saxophonists.

  • Albert_Tootie_Heath_2014_copy.jpg

    ​Albert “Tootie” Heath (1935–2024) followed in the tradition of drummer Kenny Clarke, his idol.

  • 1_Henry_Threadgills_Zooid_by_Cora_Wagoner.jpg

    Henry Threadgill performs with Zooid at Big Ears in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  • Ambrose_Akinmusire-908Z-5301_copy.jpg

    “I’m also at a point in my life where I don’t feel like I have anything to prove, like at all,” Akinmusire says about his art.


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