Legendary jazz fusion musician Chick Corea has died at the age of 79.
Corea, who played piano in Miles Davis‘ band, passed away on Tuesday (February 9). According to a statement on his official Facebook page, the Grammy-winner had been suffering 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 post continued.
“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 message written by Corea shortly before he passed away in which he reflected on his decades of success. You can see the full post below.
“I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright,” he 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.
The message continued: “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.”
Born in Massachusetts in 1941, Corea joined Miles Davis’ band in the late 1960s and contributed to a number of his albums, including ‘A Tribute To Jack Johnson’, ‘On The Corner’, ‘In A Silent Way’ and ‘Bitches Brew’.
Corea left Davis’ group in 1970 to form his own band. He won 23 Grammy awards over the course of his career, receiving a total of 67 nominations from the Recording Academy.