"Jazz Boy Wonder": Saxophone legend Wayne Shorter is dead

He played with the jazz greats Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard, helped develop the fusion jazz genre and won twelve Grammys in his long career: the composer and gifted saxophonist Wayne Shorter died in Los Angeles at the age of 89.

"Jazz Boy Wonder": Saxophone legend Wayne Shorter is dead

He played with the jazz greats Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard, helped develop the fusion jazz genre and won twelve Grammys in his long career: the composer and gifted saxophonist Wayne Shorter died in Los Angeles at the age of 89. He got many nicknames for his talent.

He is considered one of the greatest jazz musicians in history, played with Miles Davis and in the fusion band Weather Report and composed some jazz classics: Saxophone legend Wayne Shorter died at the age of 89. The 12-time Grammy winner died in Los Angeles, his agent Alisse Kingsley confirmed. Kingsley has not yet released any information about the cause of death. Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis called him one of the "giants of the saxophone".

Shorter has played with jazz greats such as Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard and Herbie Hancock over the course of his long career. The tenor and soprano saxophonist continued to develop and played bebop, hard bop, free jazz, jazz rock and fusion over the decades - jazz styles, the development of which he partly promoted.

Shorter was born on August 25, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey. He started playing the clarinet as a teenager and then switched to the saxophone. Even in his high school band he was celebrated as the "wonder boy of jazz". Many of his friends called him "Wayne the Brain" because he seemed to take ideas from everything and everyone and combine them with his thoughts into imaginative interpretations. He performed with his brother Alan as "Mr Weird" and "Doc Strange", in part because the two bebop musicians wore sunglasses in dark jazz clubs.

After studying music at New York University, Shorter spent two years in the US Army, where he played with renowned jazz pianist Horace Silver. He later joined drummer Art Blakey's hard bop band Jazz Messengers before becoming part of trumpeter Miles Davis' famous Second Quintet in 1964 with pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams. The band incorporated elements of free jazz into their pieces, but without completely abandoning formal structures. Shorter was also active as a composer, creating jazz classics like "E.S.P." and "footprints".

In 1970, Shorter co-founded Weather Report with Austrian jazz pianist Joe Zawinul, a style-defining band for their time. The musicians combined jazz with rock, funk and R

During his career, Shorter also played with Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and Carlos Santana, reaching an even larger audience. The saxophonist remained active into old age, but increasingly had to struggle with health problems. Together with the bassist Esperanza Spalding he wrote the opera "Iphigenia", which premiered in 2021.

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