Wayne Shorter, Legendary Saxophonist and Composer, Passes at 85
Legendary saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter has died, according to his publicist. He was 85. 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). He also distinguished himself as a leader on a series of recordings for Blue Note Records.
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. The band stayed together until 1986, with its commercial peak coming in 1977 with the album Heavy Weather and its single “Birdland.”
During the 1970s and 1980s, Shorter collaborated with a number of jazz bands and musicians. For 15 years, he was part of Weather Report, the group he co-founded, where he performed with Zawinul and Miroslav Vitous until 1985. He also collaborated with various rock ‘n’ roll legends, including Carlos Santana in 1988 and the Rolling Stones’ 1997 hit album “Bridges to Babylon.” In 1998, he was featured on jazz pianist Herbie Hancock’s “Gershwin World” album.
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. Shorter, alongside Davis, was among the Second Great Quintet band's most prolific composers and was responsible for producing hits such as “Nefertiti.”
During his career, Shorter was nominated for 23 Grammy Awards and won 12 of them. In January, he won the award for best improvised jazz solo performance for the song “Endangered Species.”
Carolina, Miyako, Mariana, and Max survive Shorter. Max is Shorter's newborn grandson.
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