GRAMMY-winning jazz musician/producer George Duke died Aug. 5 following a battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He was 67. Born in San Rafael, Calif., Duke found success as an accomplished keyboardist, producer, arranger, bandleader, and composer. Inspired by jazz greats such as Miles Davis, Les McCann and Cal Tjader, Duke attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied trombone, composition and contrabass, and received a bachelor's degree in music. Duke made his recording debut in 1966 with the release of The George Duke Quartet Presented By The Jazz Workshop 1966 Of San Francisco. Throughout his nearly five-decade career, Duke collaborated with artists such as Anita Baker, George Clinton, Al Jarreau, Barry Manilow, and Frank Zappa, among others. He released more than 15 albums to chart on the Billboard 200, including 1981's The Clarke/Duke Project, his collaboration with bassist Stanley Clarke that peaked at No. 33 and earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. Duke earned two GRAMMY Awards throughout his career for Best Jazz Vocal Album as the producer for Dianne Reeves' In The Moment — Live In Concert (2000) and The Calling (2001). "GRAMMY winner George Duke was a multitalented producer and keyboardist whose sound infused jazz, funk and R&B throughout his 40-year-plus career," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "His immense talent will live on through the hundreds of recordings he's given the world, and we send our sympathies to his family, friends and all who were touched by his soulful music."
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