Hammond B3 virtuoso Ike Stubblefield has died at the age of 69, at his home in Georgia. He was a music industry legend with more than 50 years in the business.
Stubblefield began his career in the late 1960s, playing keys for Motown artists like the Four Tops, Martha Reeves, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Rare Earth. In the 1970s, Stubblefield hit the stage with George Benson, B.B. King, Ike and Tina Turner, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, the Jerry Garcia Band, Johnny Adams, and many more. Stubblefield helped create the classic B3 sound that others would imitate for generations to come.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, he worked as a studio musician, composer, songwriter, and producer with Quincy Jones, Phil Spector, and others. He also scored music for films and TV projects for American, Canadian, and British productions.
In recent years, Stubblefield worked with New Orleans musicians including George Porter, Jr., Terence Higgins, and Papa Mali. He had his own Ike Stubblefield Trio, and also worked with the band Big Hat in Nashville.
Stubblefield performed at WWOZ’s Piano Night multiple times, most recently in 2015. View video from that performance below.
WWOZ sends our best wishes to his family and friends at this difficult time.
No arrangements have been announced. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.