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Jazz legend George Duke dead at 67

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Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 8:36 am

According to several outlets, music icon George Duke died yesterday (Aug. 5). He was 67.

Known as a virtuoso in his field, Duke was a multifaceted musician in jazz, funk, R&B and fusion, and produced and composed for Miles Davis; collaborated with Frank Zappa; and created more than 30 of his own solo projects, including his most recent album, DreamWeaver which was dedicated to his wife, Corine, who died of cancer just last year.

Details regarding a cause of death have yet to be released, but former Supremes singer Sherri Payne confirmed the news of Duke’s death.

"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.” Payne said in a statement. “It was just one year earlier, July 18th, that his beloved wife and my friend, Corine, went to be with the Lord. Please keep his sons, Rasheed and John, in your prayers."

Duke’s career began through jazz in the 1960s – when he backed 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.

Duke performed with the Don Ellis Orchestra, and Cannonball Adderly’s band, while he acquainted himself with the musician Frank Zappa. Duke appeared on a number of Frank Zappa's albums in the early and mid-1970s.

Duke's other high-profile collaborators include Stanley Clarke, , his cousin Dianne Reeves, Deniece Williams, Jeffrey Osborne, George Clinton, Anita Baker, Regina Belle, Rachelle Ferrell, Marilyn Scott to name a few.

More recently, Duke worked with Jill Scott on her third studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3; guesting on the track, "Whenever You're Around".

In the summer of 2011, he put together a trio with David Sanborn and Marcus Miller for a tour across the US of more than 20 sold out shows.

By popular vote, Duke was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at in December 2012.

Information from, JazzWise and Radio Facts contributed to this report.

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