Wayne Shorter, Legendary Saxophonist and Composer, Passes at 85

Legendary saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter has died, according to his publicist.[0] He was 85.[1] The Grammy-winning musician was a major influence in shaping the sound of contemporary jazz, helping to define the genre for generations of fans.

A native of Newark, New Jersey, Shorter first gained major notice as a sideman in two of jazz’s most renowned groups, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (1959-64) and Miles Davis’ so-called second great quintet (1964-68).[2] He also distinguished himself as a leader on a series of recordings for Blue Note Records.[3]

Shorter was a favorite of jazz enthusiasts nearly from the start of his career. His collaboration with Miles Davis on the 1969 album Bitches Brew and the 1971 co-founding of Weather Report, the funk-jazz fusion group he co-founded with keyboardist Joe Zawinul and bassist Miroslav Vitous, helped him break through to wider public popularity.[2] The band stayed together until 1986, with its commercial peak coming in 1977 with the album Heavy Weather and its single “Birdland.”[2]

During the 1970s and 1980s, Shorter collaborated with a number of jazz bands and musicians.[3] For 15 years, he was part of Weather Report, the group he co-founded, where he performed with Zawinul and Miroslav Vitous until 1985.[4] He also collaborated with various rock ‘n’ roll legends, including Carlos Santana in 1988 and the Rolling Stones’ 1997 hit album “Bridges to Babylon.”[5] In 1998, he was featured on jazz pianist Herbie Hancock’s “Gershwin World” album.[1]

At sixteen, Shorter started to play the clarinet, but soon shifted his attention to the tenor saxophone prior to enrolling at New York University in 1952.[6] Shorter, alongside Davis, was among the Second Great Quintet band's most prolific composers and was responsible for producing hits such as “Nefertiti.”[7]

During his career, Shorter was nominated for 23 Grammy Awards and won 12 of them.[5] In January, he won the award for best improvised jazz solo performance for the song “Endangered Species.”[6]

Carolina, Miyako, Mariana, and Max survive Shorter. Max is Shorter's newborn grandson.[3]

0. “Wayne Shorter, jazz saxophonist and composer, has died at age 89” The Atlanta Voice, 2 Mar. 2023, https://theatlantavoice.com/wayne-shorter-jazz-saxophonist-and-composer-has-died-at-age-89

1. “Wayne Shorter, Sage Of The Saxophone, Dies At 89” LAist, 2 Mar. 2023, https://laist.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wayne-shorter-sage-of-the-saxophone-dies-at-89

2. “Wayne Shorter Dies: Weather Report Saxophonist, Joni Mitchell Collaborator And Modern Jazz Icon Was 89” Deadline, 2 Mar. 2023, https://deadline.com/2023/03/wayne-shorter-dead-weather-report-saxophonist-joni-mitchell-collaborator-was-89-1235277053/

3. “Wayne Shorter, Jazz Titan and Saxophonist of Weather Report, Dies at 89” Variety, 2 Mar. 2023, https://variety.com/2023/music/news/wayne-shorter-dead-saxophonist-weather-report-1235541025/

4. “Wayne Shorter, jazz saxophonist and composer, has died at age 89” CNN, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/02/entertainment/wayne-shorter-death/index.html

5. “Wayne Shorter, jazz saxophonist and composter, has died at age 89” WICZ, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.wicz.com/story/48485976/wayne-shorter-jazz-saxophonist-and-composter-has-died-at-age-89

6. “Wayne Shorter, jazz saxophonist and composer, has died at age 89 – Local News 8” LocalNews8.com, 2 Mar. 2023, https://localnews8.com/news/2023/03/02/wayne-shorter-jazz-saxophonist-and-composer-has-died-at-age-89/

7. “Wayne Shorter, icon of jazz saxophone, dies aged 89” The Guardian, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/mar/02/wayne-shorter-icon-of-jazz-saxophone-dies-aged-89

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