Grammy-Winning Jazz Bassist Charlie Haden Dead at 77

Haden revolutionized jazz alongside Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett before embarking on a solo career

Legendary jazz musician Charlie Haden has passed away at the age of 76 after a prolonged illness, his record label announced on Friday.

Bassist Charlie Haden

Bassist Charlie Haden

“It is with deep sorrow that we announce that Charlie Haden, born August 6, 1937 in Shenandoah, Iowa, passed away today at 10:11 Pacific time in Los Angeles after a prolonged illness,” said Tina Pelikan, ECM Records Publicity, in a statement.

Haden grew up on a farm in Iowa and frequently performed with his family on the radio. After contracting polio at age 15, the illness left him unable to sing, so he turned to jazz and the bass, ultimately becoming one of the pioneers of the genre. His notable recordings include “The Shape of Jazz to Come” with Ornette Coleman.

The multiple Grammy winner picked up his first trophy in 2001, when Haden won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz CD for his album “Nocturne,” which contains boleros from Cuba and Mexico. In 2003 he won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Performance for his album “Land of the Sun.”

He is survived by Ruth Cameron, his wife of 30 years, and his children Josh, Tanya, Rachel and Petra, who were all by his side at the time of his death.

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