It has been reported veteran jazz, R&B, funk and fusion keyboard virtuoso George Duke has died aged 67. This news comes after a difficult period for the acclaimed keyboardist and composer whose wife Corine passed away just over a year ago.
The Radio Facts website states that Duke died on 5 August but no other details have yet been confirmed as to the cause of his death, which comes while he had just launched his latest album, Dreamweaver, which he’d dedicated to his wife’s memory.
Former Supremes member and friend Sherrie Payne stated: “I just received the devastating and sad news that the great musician, George Duke, passed away this evening at St. John’s hospital in L.A. It was just one year earlier, 18 July that his beloved wife and my friend, Corine, went to be with the Lord. Please keep his sons, Rasheed and John, in your prayers.”
Other leading musicians including Headhunters bassist Paul Jackson reacted with sadness to the news of Duke’s death: "Just lost a great brother and friend George Duke RIP I know Heaven awaits you my sympathy to all your friends and family Paul Jackson." While jazz flautist Bobbi Humphrey posted on her Facebook page saying: "I am so hard trying. Too much to lose George! Please pray for me! George Duke! Forty years, my friend! Lord, why? Heaven! A little bit funkier! R.I.P. Dear Heart!"
Duke’s career spanned jazz, funk and fusion beginning with his modern own jazz group in the 1960s backing the likes of Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon, but he was soon moving into the fusion terrain that would define much of his career as he began a longstanding musical partnership with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty in the early 1970s