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June 5, 2011

Assisted-suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian dies at age 83

Assisted-suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian dies at age 83

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

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  • 13 June 2015: English actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93
  • 10 June 2015: Boxing referee Frank Cappuccino dies aged 86
  • 5 June 2015: Australian businessman Alan Bond dies aged 77
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Dr. Jack Kevorkian at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on January 15, 2008.
Image: WillMcC.

Jack Kevorkian, the pathologist convicted and imprisoned for helping 130 people commit suicide, died Friday at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. He was 83. He had been hospitalized for a month with kidney failure and pneumonia. The immediate cause of death was thrombosis

Born Jacob Kevorkian on May 26, 1928 in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1999 he was charged with 2nd degree murder. He was convicted and sentenced to 10-to-25 years in a prison in Coldwater, Michigan, but was paroled on June 1, 2007 due to ill health.

The concept of a doctor assisting suicide was controversial within the US and he was known as “Dr Death”. Dr. Kervorkian told the BBC in 2007, “I knew what I was doing… I accepted the consequences because I had to do the right thing.”

In 2010 the film You Don’t Know Jack, about Kevorkian’s life, was made and released on US TV network HBO.

Despite his campaign, physician-assisted suicide is currently legally accepted in only one state, Oregon, which passed a law in 1997 allowing a physician to prescribe lethal drugs to a terminally ill patient.

Kevorkian was also a jazz musician and composer. The Kevorkian Suite: A Very Still Life was a 1997 limited release CD of 5,000 copies from the Lucid Subjazz label.

In 2008 he ran for congress against congressman Joe Knollenberg.



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December 18, 2010

Don Van Vliet, best known as \’Captain Beefheart\’, dies aged 69

Don Van Vliet, best known as ‘Captain Beefheart’, dies aged 69

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

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Beefheart in 1974.
Image: “Jean-Luc”.

US avant-garde musician and painter Don Van Vliet — better known by the stage name Captain Beefheart — died Friday aged 69. New York’s Michael Werner Gallery confirmed the cause of death as complications with multiple sclerosis, a condition Van Vliet suffered from for many years.

Born in Glendale, California on January 15, 1941, the highly experimental musician created several unique and influential albums from 1967 through to 1982, backed by a frequently changing group of musicians known as The Magic Band. His most famous album, Trout Mask Replica (1969) melded free jazz, blues-rock, and avant-garde styles to create a critically acclaimed (albeit commercially unsuccessful) work. He retired from music in 1982 to focus on painting.

Whilst none of the albums released by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, including 1967 debut album Safe as Milk, were commercially successful, his work is regularly cited as highly influential. Groups such as The Sex Pistols, Jethro Tull, Hawkwind, and Roxy Music all mention Beefheart as influencing their music.

A childhood friend of Frank Zappa, Beefheart was christened Don Glen Viet, later changing this; and, adopting the stage name of Captain Beefheart at Zappa’s suggestion. Of the dozen albums produced under various lineups of the Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica is placed at number 58 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Despite no formal training, it was under his own name and as a painter, that Van Vliet experienced his greatest commercial success. His first exhibition was in Liverpool, in 1972. In the wake of this he was advised that as a painter he would be unlikely to be taken seriously unless he abandoned his musical career.

He is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Jan Van Vliet.

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February 9, 2010

British jazz musician John Dankworth dies aged 82

British jazz musician John Dankworth dies aged 82

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

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File photo of John Dankworth.

British jazz musician Sir John Dankworth, said to be “one of the totemic figures of British jazz” and “the first major jazz musician” by Jazzwise magazine, died at the age of 82 in the King Edward VII Hospital in London, England on Saturday after being hospitalised with an undisclosed illness for the last few months. His family and his agent made the confirmation of the obituary.

He was born in Essex on 1927 to a family of musicians. He started playing the clarinet after being musically influenced by Benny Goodman. During the 1950s, he became an active jazz artist with his group, the Dankworth Seven. While auditioning for singers for the group in 1950, he met Dame Cleo Laine, who later became his wife.

Dankworth, who had been working in the British jazz music industry for over 60 years, was the musical director to other famous jazz musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Charlie Parker. He was also the composer of the theme music for television programmes The Avengers and Tomorrow’s World, as well as writing the music score for 1966 film Modesty Blaise. Johnny Dankworth, as he was often known by, was appointed CBE in 1974 and was knighted in 2006 – to become Sir John Dankworth – for his services to music. One of the last performances from John Dankworth was at the London Jazz Festival in November 2009, where he played the saxophone while sitting in a wheelchair. Dankworth also had two children – Jacqui, his daughter and Alec, his son. Both are now jazz musicians.

Cquote1.svg Sir John Dankworth – a great man and one of our finest musicians and composers has died. Rest in peace sir. Cquote2.svg

—Jamie Cullum

Singer Dame Cleo Laine, John Dankworth’s wife, also announced his death during a concert inside a music venue in Buckinghamshire which she and John founded near to their residence, having established the Wavendon Allmusic Plan in 1969. The concert was to celebrate the venue’s 40th anniversary. A statement that was released from the music venue said: “The Stables is greatly saddened by the news that one of its Founders & Life Presidents, Sir John Dankworth CBE has passed away on the day that The Stables celebrated its 40th birthday.” In a statement, Jim Murtha, Dankworth’s agent, said that “[t]he all-star concert, featuring numerous British stars of stage, screen and recordings, became a tribute to John.” Stephen Clarke, who is the chairman of the charity supporting The Stables released a statement which said that “[i]t is a fitting tribute that on the day of Sir John’s death that we celebrated on stage…with some of the many artists who have performed with Sir John.”

Speaking from New York in the United States, Jim Murtha stated to the BBC: “For British jazz and jazz around the world, I believe John has become such an international figure, particularly since he became Sir John Dankworth a few years ago.” A message placed on the Twitter page of present day jazz musician Jamie Cullum said: “Sir John Dankworth – a great man and one of our finest musicians and composers has died. Rest in peace sir.”


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January 13, 2010

George Garanian, Russian Armenian jazz band leader, dies at age 75

Filed under: Archived,Europe,Jazz,Obituaries,Russia — admin @ 5:00 am

George Garanian, Russian Armenian jazz band leader, dies at age 75

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

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Russian alto saxophone player, conductor, and composer of Armenian origin George Garanian died aged 75 years last Monday at a hospital in Krasnodar, where he planned some concerts together with Michel Legrand and a city big band.

George Garanian was born in 1934 in Moscow. In the 1950s he played in the Orchestra of the Central House of Artworkers. He wrote music for a number of films including Pokrov Gates.

He led some of the best Russian big bands — “Golden Eight”, Melodia (1970–80s), Moscow Big Band (1992–95) and the Municipal Big Band of Krasnodar (since 1998) and Oleg Lundstrem State Jazz Orchestra (since 2005).

He was a TV anchor of Jam-5 jazz history programme on Russian Channel Culture. He was also a member of the Union of Composers since 1975, Union of Cinematographers since 1996, Laureate of the Russian State Prize in 2000.

The announced concert in Krasnodar won’t be canceled; his colleagues will perform in his honour tomorrow. He will be buried at Vagankovo (Moscow) on Thursday.



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August 14, 2009

Guitarist Les Paul dies at 94

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Guitarist Les Paul dies at 94

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Friday, August 14, 2009

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Les Paul in 2004
Image: didi46.

Les Paul, the American jazz guitarist whose eponymous electric guitar remains one of the most popular and influential designs of musical instrument in modern history, has died at the age of 94 of complications from pneumonia.

Born Lester William Polfuss in 1915 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, United States, Les Paul was establishing himself as a jazz musician in Chicago when in 1939 he built “The Log”, reputed to be the first solid-body “Spanish-style” electric guitar ever made. Discussions with Gibson Guitars led to the development of the Gibson Les Paul guitar, which with its unprecedented tonal properties (caused in part by its unprecedented weight) quickly established itself among players of both the emerging rock & roll style of music and the developing electric blues.

A 2005 reissue of the 1958 Gibson Les Paul
Image: Zeppelin4life.

Paul was also a pioneer of recording techniques. Paul’s experiments with multi-tracking in the 1940s led to a string of chart successes with songs like “How High The Moon”, in which Paul’s guitar work and then-wife Mary Ford’s vocals appeared a novel many-layered setting, Paul playing up to eight guitar parts and Ford harmonizing with herself.

Although Paul entered semi-retirement in his 50s, he remained active and performing almost until his death; his last album was released in 2006. Les Paul received a number of accolades throughout his career: he was the recipient of numerous Grammy awards, an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the namesake of the Mix Foundation’s Les Paul Award for “individuals or institutions that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of audio technology.” He was also the subject of two biographical films.

While Les Paul had no children, he is survived by a godson, the guitarist Steve Miller.



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March 3, 2008

Canadian musician Jeff Healey dies of cancer

Canadian musician Jeff Healey dies of cancer

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Jeff Healey playing with his Jazz Wizards Band in Peterborough, Ontario on September 8, 2007.

Musician Jeff Healey, 41, has died in Toronto, Canada from cancer, it was announced Sunday. Healey is internationally known for his 1988 album See the Light and for his appearance the following year in the movie Road House with Patrick Swayze. His hits included Angel Eyes.

He was born Norman Jeffery Healey on March 25, 1966 in Toronto. At the age of 1, he was blinded from retinoblastoma, but still learned how to play the guitar by positioning the instrument on his lap.

Healey was host of various Canadian radio programs in recent years and was set to release a new blues-rock album within weeks. He is survived by his wife and two children, 13-year-old Rachel and 3-year-old Derek.



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December 24, 2007

Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson dies at 82

Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson dies at 82 – Wikinews, the free news source

Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson dies at 82

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Canada
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Oscar Peterson, a Canadian jazz pianist who earned many honours during his decades-long career, died Sunday in Mississauga, Ontario aged 82.

The Montreal-born Peterson learned to play piano in childhood and by the 1940s was actively performing in Canadian big bands such as the Johnny Holmes Orchestra. A groundbreaking performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1949 brought Peterson’s career to an international level.

Among many honours, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour, in 1984. He also received seven Grammy Awards and in 1978 was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.



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May 12, 2007

Serbia wins Eurovision Song Contest 2007

Serbia wins Eurovision Song Contest 2007

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Serbian Marija Šerifović performs the winning song Molitva.
Image: Indrek Galetin.

Serbia’s entry, Molitva (A Prayer), performed by 23-year-old Marija Šerifović, has won the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki, Finland, with a score of 268 points.

Second place was claimed by the Ukrainian drag queen Verka Serduchka, and third place went to the Russian entry of Serebro. Turkey took the fourth place with Shake It Up Shekerim. Greece with Sarbel’s Yassou Maria came 7th as the first Western-European country, while Ireland took only 5 points, finishing below France and the United Kingdom which shared the second-last place.

16 out of 24 finalists came from Eastern Europe, which caused many Western European countries to doubt the possibility that a country from Western Europe could ever win the final. Although France, the U.K., Spain and Germany are the big sponsors of the festival and are automatically selected for the final round, they all ended up at the bottom of the ranking. The fact that affiliated countries vote for each other (neighbourhood countries such as Scandinavian, Balkan or ex-Soviet countries) is also an annually returning matter discussed in the media.

A record 42 countries entered the 52nd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, but 18 didn’t make it through the selection rounds. Serbia competed as an independent country for the first time, separate from Montenegro or Bosnia-Herzegovina, and immediately won the competition. This year’s edition was the first to host new styles like jazz side by side with traditional ballads and rock. The winning song was also the first non-English song to win since the transsexual artist Dana International won for Israel in 1998.

The competition took place in Finland because last year the Finnish hard rock song ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ by Lordi won the competition. The song kicked off the final in Helsinki. Hosts were Jaana Pelkonen and Mikko Leppilampi

After the victory, many Serbs took to the streets with flags to celebrate the victory. Aleksandar Tijanic, director of RTS state television, was glad that Serbia made the news in a positive way: “I’m so glad it wasn’t some war song. Hosting this event in Belgrade next year will mean we have finally crossed into normality.” The country is still sometimes associated with the Yugoslav wars which led to the disintegration of Former Yugoslavia.

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February 8, 2007

Four alarm fire in Old City, Philadelphia

Four alarm fire in Old City, Philadelphia

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Fire destroyed a building that hosted the Five Spot night club in Philadelphia’s historic Old City section. No one was injured in the blaze,

Firefighters battled for two hours to control the flames and people were evacuated from nearly buildings. Reports indicate that at least one wall inside the group of buildings that make the Five Spot collapsed, causing major structural damage. The fire was contained to three buildings, authorities say.

The Five Spot brought an eclectic mix to Philadelphia’s Old City section where the business had thrived for 11 years.

During an interview the owner said, “It was just time. We were looking to sell … to somebody who would carry on the tradition.”

Lovett Hines, a longtime guru of the Philadelphia Jazz music scene said the club was a creative caldron of sorts for the neo-jazz genre. Cohen of Gloucester City said, “It was heart-wrenching; A lot of us were in tears.”

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December 10, 2006

Canadian jazz star Diana Krall gives birth to twin boys

Canadian jazz star Diana Krall gives birth to twin boys

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Canada
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  • 22 October 2014: One confirmed dead after shooting at National War Memorial in Ottawa
  • 3 July 2014: Indian space agency launches five foreign satellites
  • 29 June 2014: Canada wins 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship
  • 28 June 2014: Germany and Canada into 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships final
  • 27 June 2014: Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals
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Canadian jazz star Diana Krall has given birth Wednesday to twin boys named Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James in New York City, where the couple live.

“We are ecstatic!” and the “mother and sons are doing splendidly,” reads a statement released by Krall and her husband, English musician Elvis Costello, best known for songs such as “Pump It Up” and “Alison”.

The twins are Krall’s first children. Costello already has a child from an earlier marriage.

Costello, 52, and Krall, 42, shared the birth of their two sons on their third wedding anniversary.

“I have twins on my mother’s side,” Krall told People magazine in September.

Krall, born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, who is a Grammy award winner, and was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2005, released her latest album titled “From This Moment On” in September.

The couple married three years ago in a ceremony held at Elton John’s mansion in Surrey, England in December 2003. Paul McCartney and Pamela Wallin, Canada’s consul general to New York were invited among the 150 guests.

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