ST. LOUIS (AP) — Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis will help christen a new St. Louis jazz center that organizers hope will serve as a venue worthy of the genre’s top acts while inspiring the next generation of jazz greats from an area that has produced Miles Davis, Clark Terry and David Sanborn, among others.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will join Marsalis for the grand opening Thursday of the Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz. Other big-name performers will follow, said Gene Dobbs Bradford, executive director of Jazz St. Louis.
Kenny Wheeler, a jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer who was as comfortable improvising with uncompromising avant-gardists like the saxophonist Anthony Braxton as he was writing challenging arrangements for a big band, died on Thursday in London. He was 84.
His death was announced by the Royal Academy of Music in London, where Mr. Wheeler was the founding patron of Junior Jazz, a course of study for teenagers. He had been in failing health for several months.
Legendary jazz pianist Joe Sample died on Friday morning in Houston. He was 75.
Sample, who revolutionized jazz fusion in the ’60s and ’70s, was also a keyboardist and composer for more than five decades, having worked with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Anita Baker, Joni Mitchell and Canned Heat.
Sample’s family announced the news on Facebook, but didn’t mention the cause of death. The pianist was hospitalized last year with pneumonia after suffering from ongoing health issues, including heart attacks in 1994 and 2009.