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Passings: George Duke (1946 - 2013)

by Paul Cashmere

Grammy Award winning jazz artist George Duke has died after battling leukemia. He was 67-years old.

Duke passed away on Monday in Los Angeles. His wife Corine died from cancer just over a year ago in July, 2012.

Duke was a member of Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention, playing on all of Zappa’s 70s albums including Chunga’s Revenge (1970), Over-Nite Sensation (1973), Apostrophe (1974) and Bongo Fury (1975).

He also played on Michael Jackson's Off The Wall, Miles Davis' Tutu, Phil Collins' A Hot Night In Paris and the pop hit by Denise Williams, Let’s Hear It For The Boy.

As a producer Duke worked with Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight. He also composed the music for Karate Kid III.

In 1988 George Duke worked as the Musical Director for the Nelson Mandela Tribute Concert in London.

George’s son Rashid has issued the following statement. “The outpouring of love and support that we have received from my father’s friends, fans and the entire music community has been overwhelming. Thank you all for your concern, prayers and support.”