The world lost a musical giant on Monday, August 5, when genre-crossing keyboardist and producer George Duke passed away at age 67 after a battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as reported by his label Concord Records.
"With almost a half a century career, Duke was one of the world’s most prolific jazz legends. From leading a jazz trio with a young Al Jarreau during his formative years to working with Jean-Luc Ponty, to his incredible work with Cannonball Adderley, drummer Billy Cobham, and Frank Zappa, to his cherished stream of jazz-funk records in the ’70s, Duke found his mark not only in his eclecticism, but also his signature approach to the synthesizer, which often prized less pyrotechnics in favor of blues elements."*
In addition to a legacy of love and positive energy, Duke leaves behind a massive catalog of amazing, soulful music. And on Saturday, August 17 from 8-10pm, I'll focus on his music, rare groove-style from the 1970s through mid-1980s, with my "Soul Power Show" tribute to George Duke. Nigel Hall, keyboardist and vocalist with Lettuce who was previously scheduled to co-host, will now be unable to participate, due to travels. However, I will be playing rare Duke recordings from Hall's personal collection, as well as sharing my own favorite Duke LPs from my collection, so that we can remember a musician whose spirit was so warm, that I'd call him the #1 kindest artist that I ever had the privilege to open for (as DJ Soul Sister).
Please join me for an evening of great music, from fusion to funk - all touched by the Dukey Stick.
RIP George Duke. We love you.
*from Concord Records press release
George Duke with Soul Sister photo by Cristina Noel Smith