Arts & Entertainment

Jazz icon Wayne Shorter dies

Los Angeles, Mar 2 (EFE).- Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, whose career included stints with Miles Davis and Weather Report and collaborations with Joni Mitchell and Carlos Santana, died Thursday in Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 89.

“Visionary composer, saxophonist, visual artist, devout Buddhist, devoted husband, father and grandfather Wayne Shorter has embarked on a new journey as part of his extraordinary life – departing the earth as we know it in search of an abundance of new challenges and creative possibilities,” Alisse Kingsley said in a statement.

The Newark, New Jersey, native attended Newark Arts High School, the first public institution of its kind in the United States, after winning an art contest and went on to earn a degree in music education from New York University.

Coming to prominence as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Shorter accepted an offer from Davis in the mid-1960s to become part of what would be known as the trumpeter’s Second Great Quintet, along with pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams.

Shorter’s compositions featured on the quintet’s recordings and on solo albums featuring colleagues from the Davis group and from the John Coltrane Quartet, as well as trumpeters Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard.

In 1970, Shorter and fellow Davis alumnus Joe Zawinul founded the jazz fusion group Weather Report, whose 14 albums included “Heavy Weather,” which sold more than 1 million copies.

Shorter recorded and performed live with guitarist Carlos Santana and played on 10 Joni Mitchell albums. He also contributed a bracing saxophone solo to Steely Dan’s “Aja.”

Though ill health forced him to give up performing in 2018, the creator of more than 200 compositions – many of them now jazz standards – remained engaged and 2021 saw the premiere of “Iphigenia,” an opera he created with Esperanza Spaulding. EFE mrl/dr

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