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Chick Corea (1941–2021), pioneering jazz fusion keyboardist

by Kirk Fox

Chick Corea was a legendary Grammy-winning jazz keyboardist who pioneered jazz fusion as a member of Miles Davis’s band and in his solo career.

  • Died: Tuesday, February 9, 2021. (Who else died on February 9?)
  • Details of death: Died at the age of 79 from cancer.
  • We invite you to share condolences for Chick Corea in our Guest Book.

Jazz fusion pioneer

Chick Corea helped usher in jazz fusion as a keyboardist with icon Miles Davis’s (1926–1991) band starting in the late 1960’s. He first made a name for himself playing piano with jazz greats Stan Getz (1927–1991) and Herbie Mann (1930–2003). He played keyboards on Davis’s groundbreaking jazz-rock-funk album “Bitches Brew,” released in 1970. Corea moved on to form Return to Forever, one of the most acclaimed jazz-rock bands, which included Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. He toured with legendary jazz fusion pianist Herbie Hancock in the late 1970’s, with the duo wearing formal outfits and playing on grand pianos. Corea continued a long career of recording and performing, winning 23 Grammy Awards.

Corea on writing “Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy” with Return to Forever

“The hair stood up on my arm… It was so exciting and it worked so great and everyone was so enthusiastic about it. It really set a new direction, and it developed from there. The venues we were playing were bigger and the audiences picked up on the vibe. There was a synergy going on between what we were creating and how audiences were digging it.” – Rolling Stone


Tributes to Chick Corea

Full Obituary: Rolling Stone

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