Artists We Lost in 2018

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From jazz trumpeters and blues guitarists to genre-defining soul singers and avant-garde soothsayers, DownBeat presents a look back at some of the talented performers who passed away during 2018. DB

Eddie C. Campbell (1939–2018)

Ndugu Chancler (1952-2018)

Eddy Clearwater (1935-2018)

Bob Dorough (1923–2018)

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

Roy Hargrove (1969–2018)

Hugh Masekela (1939-2018)

Randy Weston (1926-2018)

Nancy Wilson (1937–2018)

Otis Rush (1935-2018)

Tomasz Stańko (1942-2018)

Cecil Taylor (1929-2018)



  • 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.

  • MichaelCuscuna_Katz_2042_6a_1995_copy.jpg

    Cuscuna played a singular role in the world of jazz as a producer of new jazz, R&B and rock recordings; as co-founder of a leading reissue record label; as a historian, journalist and DJ; and as the man who singlehandedly kept the Blue Note label on life support.


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