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Jazz Pianist

January 10, 2009 | Harriet Ryan
A lawyer for a Swedish hip-hop artist accused of murdering a pedestrian in a sensational act of road rage invoked the movie "Crash" on Friday in asking for a reduction in the performer's $1-million bail. In court papers, David Jassy's attorney wrote that the fatal encounter in a Hollywood crosswalk was a prime example of the Academy Award-winning film's "thesis . . . that random interactions of diverse people in a city as frenetic as Los Angeles can lead to disastrous consequences."
October 24, 2008 | Jon Thurber, Thurber is a Times staff writer.
Dave McKenna, a master jazz pianist who embraced the music of the Great American Songbook in fashioning a strong career primarily as a solo artist, has died. He was 78. McKenna died Saturday at his home in State College, Pa., and had been battling lung cancer and diabetes, according to his son Stephen. McKenna stopped playing six or seven years ago as the diabetes impaired his dexterity. "I'm more of a song player than a jazz player," McKenna told the New York Times some years ago. "I'm a saloon player, a cocktail player.
July 20, 2008
A public memorial tribute to jazz pianist Gerald Wiggins is scheduled for 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. July 28 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles. Wiggins died July 13 at age 86.
July 15, 2008 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Gerald Wiggins, a jazz pianist whose long career embraced numerous recordings with his trio, performances with Louis Armstrong, Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, Zoot Sims, accompaniment for Lena Horne and Nat "King" Cole, and vocal coaching for Marilyn Monroe, has died. He was 86. Wiggins died Sunday morning at Encino-Tarzana Medical Center, where he had spent the last six weeks. According to his wife, Lynn, Wiggins had been in poor health for months.
July 3, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Ronnie Mathews, 72, a jazz pianist best known for his supporting roles in bands led by saxophonist Johnny Griffin and, later, drummer T.S. Monk, died Saturday of pancreatic cancer in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to a posting on his website. Mathews was born Dec. 2, 1935, in Brooklyn and studied at the Manhattan School of Music in the late 1950s. His initial professional work was as an accompanist for singer Gloria Lynne. He found prominence in the early 1960s as a member of drummer Max Roach's band.
September 22, 2007
Jazz pianist Art Tatum will return to the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday to perform the nine songs he recorded there in 1949, seven years before he died. It won't be Tatum in the flesh, of course. But it's not him on Memorex either. Instead, a virtual Tatum will be on stage inside a computer the size of a dictionary, sending electronic instructions that will move the keys and pedals of a robotic, 9-foot-long Yamaha concert grand piano.
August 9, 2007 | Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Times Staff Writer
Sal Mosca, a jazz pianist known for his distinctive improvisational skills and a deep dedication to his craft -- one that led him to build a musical life centered on practicing and teaching, rather than performing -- died July 28 at a hospital in White Plains, N.Y., from complications of emphysema. He was 80.
April 22, 2007 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Andrew Hill, a jazz pianist whose career as an adventurous, envelope-stretching improviser and composer reached from the 1960s to the present, has died. Hill, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1974, died Friday in Jersey City, N.J., his record label announced. He was 75, and had performed as recently as three weeks ago at a New York City church.
December 9, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Jay "Hootie" McShann, a jazz pianist and bandleader who helped refine the blues-tinged Kansas City sound and introduced the world to saxophonist Charlie Parker, has died. He was 90. McShann died Thursday at St. Luke's Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Kerry O'Connor. The cause of death was not released. McShann, whose musical career spanned eight decades and earned him accolades from both blues and jazz aficionados, was born James Columbus McShann in Muskogee, Okla.
February 4, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Romano Mussolini, an accomplished jazz pianist and last living child of Italy's World War II dictator Benito Mussolini, has died. He was 78. The musician and painter had been hospitalized more than two weeks ago for kidney and gall bladder problems and died Friday, according to the website of his daughter's political party. The daughter, Alessandra Mussolini, leads a small right-wing political movement.
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