George Duke

George Duke was an immensely talented musician, composer and arranger, evident by the calibre of the acts he became associated with during his career. Names like Stanley Clarke, Frank Zappa, Al Jareau, Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder all benefited at one time or another from Duke's talent, either as a player, producer or musical collaborator. Classically trained, he began playing piano at the age of seven before eventually earning a degree from the San Francisco Conservatory in 1967. Duke had an ability to cross genres and was equally at home playing mellow jazz or R&B on a piano as he was playing synth solos in a rock format or conducting a gospel choir. As well as his work with other artists Duke had a successful solo career recording more than 30 albums. His 1980 release 'A Brazilian Love Affair' is widely acknowledged as one of his best albums from an impressive body of work. Duke's wide ranging experience led to him being engaged as a musical director for various large scale events such as the Nelson Mandela tribute held at Wembley stadium in London. After a long and varied career, George Duke died in 2013 from leukemia.

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