COVID-19 vs Jazz — Death toll continues to rise

A little more than a month ago, I wrote about the deaths of several major jazzers felled by the coronovarius, a short list that included Ellis Marsalis. Wallace Roney and Bucky Pizzarelli.

At the time, longtime jazz photographer and critic Ken Franckling had started keeping a tally of the jazz dead, on his Jazz Notes blog.

Since then, the numbers have mounted, and Ken’s lists (parts 1 and 2) offer brief obits of 30 jazzers taken by COVID-19, including the likes of alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and bassist Henry Grimes.


It’s a sobering accounting, but important: We need to honor their memories, and “naming the dead” helps us to do so.

Please take a few minutes to read the obits.

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