One of America’s greatest jazz saxophonists, Wayne Shorter, has died at the age of 89 in a hospital in Los Angeles. His publicist confirmed the news to the New York Times.
Shorter played a central role in three of the most significant jazz groups of the 20th century: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis’s quintet, and Weather Report. He also collaborated with musicians such as Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, and Steely Dan.
He was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Grammy award and won eleven Grammys in total. He was also a member of the DownBeat Hall of Fame and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame.
“Beyond the sky we fly, perchance to see some greatness there: eternal wonder! that which is born of courage here.”Wayne Shorter
Shorter was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1933, and was captivated by bebop music as a teenager. He eventually focused on the tenor and soprano saxophone and went on to compose numerous pieces for the Jazz Messengers and Miles Davis’s quintet.
He continued to release solo albums throughout his career, including Speak No Evil, Night Dreamer, and JuJu. Shorter’s love for fusion led to the formation of Weather Report, co-led with Joe Zawinul. He remained active in music until his late 80s and even composed an opera, Iphigenia, with a libretto by Esperanza Spalding.
Wayne Shorter’s impact on jazz cannot be overstated. He was a true innovator and a constant source of inspiration for musicians and fans alike. His legacy will continue to live on through his music, which will be cherished by jazz lovers for generations to come.