Chick Corea dies at 79

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Chick Corea (centre) and the Elektric Band

Ground-breaking pianist and composer Chick Corea, who worked in straightahead situations with Blue Mitchell and others before moving towards jazz-rock with Miles Davis and creating signature fusion sounds with his own Return To Forever and Elektric Band, has died from a rare, only recently diagnosed form of cancer.

Corea’s Facebook page carries the following statement:

“It is with great sadness we announce that on February 9th, Chick Corea passed away at the age of 79, from a rare form of cancer which was only discovered very recently.

“Throughout his life and career, Chick relished in the freedom and the fun to be had in creating something new, and in playing the games that artists do.

“He was 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:

‘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.

‘And to my amazing musician friends who have been like family to me as long as I’ve known you: It has been a blessing and an honor learning from and playing with all of you. My mission has always been to bring the joy of creating anywhere I could, and to have done so with all the artists that I admire so dearly – this has been the richness of my life.’

“Chick’s family will of course appreciate their privacy during this difficult time of loss.”