In Memoriam: George Duke

George DukeGeorge Duke, the incomparable jazz/funk legend, passed away yesterday.

The first time I met him was the 2010 Capital Jazz cruise, and the number-one thing I will always think of is that he was always smiling. Always. But man, let him loose on that stage and he will, without fail, blow you away.

He’d always joke that his music is a “gumbo” and he was exactly right. It’s a little bit of everything: jazz, funk, R&B, Brazilian bossa nova – mixed and shaken up. His is the sort of music that stands out simply because it’s full of the same smiling, happy energy that he always carried in person.

This photo is from the 2012 cruise. I’m happy to have seen him after that, at the Blue Note with Stanley Clarke.

In Memoriam, friend. Thanks for the laughs, the amazing music, and the lunch hour chats on the Carnival ships. Thanks for the smiles. I’ll see you at the big jam session in the sky one of those days.

K.G.

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6 thoughts on “In Memoriam: George Duke

    1. Thank you. It’s tough to swallow; I saw him just a couple of months ago and, as usual, he was his cheerful self. I was actually getting ready to see him this Sunday…So jarring that he’s gone. It just won’t be the same without him.

  1. Very worthy and beautiful words, Katherine. Couldn’t help but shed a tear over hearing the very sad news. But heaven just got spiked up a notch or two on account of his passing on!

  2. Reblogged this on wesbound and commented:
    Since I have trouble wrapping my mind and heart around the untimely passing of yet another one of my alltime musical heroes, I take the liberty of reblogging Katherine Gilraine’s eulogy on George Duke’s passing. So much great music that he left for us to keep enjoying with an even more finely tuned ear now. R.I.P. George Duke.

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