ARTICLE UPDATE: George Duke dies at age 67

George Duke was a dream weaver and a music maker

8/6/2013, 12:34 p.m. | Updated on 8/6/2013, 12:28 p.m.
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ARTICLE UPDATE: George Duke dies at age 67

Special web report from the St. Louis American

According to several outlets, music icon George Duke died yesterday (Aug. 5). He was 67.

Known as a virtuoso in his field, Duke was a multifaceted musician in jazz, funk, R&B and fusion, and produced and composed for Miles Davis; collaborated with Frank Zappa; and created more than 30 of his own solo projects, including his most recent album, DreamWeaver which was dedicated to his wife, Corine, who died of cancer just last year.

Details regarding a cause of death have yet to be released, but former Supremes singer Sherri Payne confirmed the news of Duke’s death.

"I just received the devastating and sad news that the great musician, George Duke, passed away this evening at St. John's hospital in L.A.” Payne said in a statement. “It was just one year earlier, July 18th, that his beloved wife and my friend, Corine, went to be with the Lord. Please keep his sons, Rasheed and John, in your prayers."

Duke’s career began through jazz in the 1960s – when he backed the likes of Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon. But he was soon moving into the fusion terrain that would define much of his career as he began a longstanding musical partnership with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty in the early 1970s.

Duke performed with the Don Ellis Orchestra, and Cannonball Adderly’s band, while he acquainted himself with the musician Frank Zappa. Duke appeared on a number of Frank Zappa's albums in the early and mid-1970s.

Duke's other high-profile collaborators include Stanley Clarke, , his cousin Dianne Reeves, Deniece Williams, Jeffrey Osborne, George Clinton, Anita Baker, Regina Belle, Rachelle Ferrell, Marilyn Scott to name a few.

More recently, Duke worked with Jill Scott on her third studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3; guesting on the track, "Whenever You're Around".

In the summer of 2011, he put together a trio with David Sanborn and Marcus Miller for a tour across the US of more than 20 sold out shows.

By popular vote, Duke was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at SoulMusic.com in December 2012.

Information from BET.com, JazzWise and Radio Facts contributed to this report.

George Duke returns with "Dream Weaver"

Out of devastating pain comes DreamWeaver, the new disc, which RAMMY® Award-winning keyboardist/composer/arranger/producer George Duke considers his "most honest album in several years." The making of DreamWeaver occurred after his wife, Corine, passed away. Struck with grief, he found it difficult to work during that period. "I didn't feel like creating any music, which was odd, because normally that's the easiest thing for me to do," he says, "Sometimes, I would walk into the studio and say, ‘Nah. It's not going to happen.'"

Duke's mojo returned while on a Capital Cruise. During the first couple of days, he didn't play any music, but did check out some of the other bands. "By the third day, something happened," he remembers. After returning to his cabin around 4 a.m. from listening to music, inspiration ignited. "I went back on the deck and watched the sun come up. A couple of songs started coming to me; I got out my pen and paper, and started writing."