Wayne shorter
Photo Credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns

Legendary Jazz Saxophonist Wayne Shorter Has Died

Twelve-time Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter died in Los Angeles March 2 at 89-years-old.

Legendary jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter died on Thursday (March 2) at a hospital in Los Angeles, per Variety. The musician was 89-years-old. Shorter's influence has been heard and felt for decades, from being a pioneer of hard bop in the 1950s to the birth of jazz-rock fusion in the 1970s.

Born August 25, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey, Shorter had a curiosity for music, which he later pursued in his music studies at New York University in the mid-1950s. While attending the institution, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, a jazz band that specialized in hard bop. As a member jazz outfit, Shorter was part of numerous Jazz Messengers albums, including 1960's The Big Beat, 1962's Mosaic and 1964's Free for All.

In the mid-1960s, Shorter joined the second iteration of the Miles Davis Quintet alongside the iconic trumpeter lead, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Tony Williams and pianist Herbie Hancock. As sideman, Shorter assisted in Davis' most coveted projects like 1967's Sorcerer, In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, both released in 1969. While accompanying Davis, Shorter began releasing his own solo material on on Vee-Jay (Introducing Wayne Shorter, Second Genesis, Wayning Moments) and Blue Note Records (Juju, Speak No Evil, The Soothsayer).

After the quintet's breakup, Shorter would assist fellow musicians Hancock, The Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Jaco Pastorius and more. The Weather Report's 1979 album, 8:30, would also become Shorter's first Grammy Award, followed by eleven more and a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2015. After brief periods on record labels Columbia and Verve, Shorter returned to Blue Note Records in 2010 where he released his final album, Emanon, in 2018.

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