In Memoriam: Chick Corea, 79

Mike Lawson • News • February 11, 2021

Chick Corea. Photo by Sakurai Toshi

Jazz composer, band leader, keyboardist and percussionist Chick Corea died Feb. 9 after a battle with cancer. He was 79. The music icon, who released his first album in 1968 and his 77th in 2020, was honored with more than 60 Grammy nominations and 23 wins over the course of his career.

Along with his musical accomplishments, Corea’s Facebook page pays homage to “a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and a great mentor and friend to so many. Through his body of work and the decades he spent touring the world, he touched and inspired the lives of millions.

“Though he would be the first to say that his music said more than words ever could, he nevertheless had this message for all those he knew and loved, and for all those who loved him,” the Facebook post continues, including this message from Corea himself:

“I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright. It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun.”

SBO’s affiliated publication JazzEd had the good fortune to interview Corea for the Oct. 2020 issue. Christian Wissmuller’s story begins on page 14. To view the digital edition, go to

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