Acclaimed US jazz pianist, composer, and band leader, Ahmad Jamal, whose career spanned more than seven decades, passed away on Sunday at the age of 92.
His wife confirmed his death to the Washington Post while his daughter, Sumayah Jamal, told The New York Times he’d died of prostate cancer.
Jamal’s work influenced a generation of musicians including his close friend, legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.
Even in later decades his influence was evident, with his piano riffs sampled by many hip hop artists, while he was credited with luring a larger pop audience to enjoy jazz.
He was born Frederick Russell Jones in Pittsburgh in 1930, and regarded the eclectic musical culture of his birthplace as crucial to his development.
Jamal’s made his commercial breakthrough in 1958 with an album entitled “Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing: But Not for Me.” It stayed on the Billboard magazine charts for more than 100 weeks.
He won numerous awards throughout his career, including France’s prestigious Ordre des Arts and des Lettres and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.