Chick Corea, a former pianist for Miles Davis who later established his own successful band and became a torchbearer of the jazz fusion movement, has died at the age 79.
According to a post on his official Facebook page, Corea passed away on February 9th “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,” the statement continues. “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.”
The statement also included a note penned by Corea prior to his death. “I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright,” Corea wrote. “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.”