Maynard Ferguson Dies
The energetic jazz musican and band leader was 78 years old.
Influential jazz musician and band leader Walter “Maynard” Ferguson, died at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California August 23.
He was 78 years old.
According to Mr. Ferguson’s representatives, his death was the result of kidney and liver failure brought on by an abdominal infection.
His four daughters and other family members were at his side when he passed away after this brief illness.
He reportedly had recently spoken by phone with his friend and manager Steve Schankman from St. Louis, longtime tour manager Ed Sargent, and friend, and fellow trumpeter Arturo Sandoval.
Mr. Ferguson had returned home to California from New York after several sold out performances in July at the Blue Note Club.
During this time, Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau band also recorded a new album.
He had concerts with his Big Bop Nouveau Band scheduled well into 2007.
Mr. Ferguson was born in Montreal and started his career at the age of 13 when he performed as a featured soloist with the Canadian Broadcasting Company Orchestra.
He played with some of the great big band leaders of the 1940s including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Barnett, Jimmy Dorsey and Stan Kenton.
In 1945, at age 17, Mr. Ferguson became the leader of his own big band. He went on to record more than 60 albums, receiving numerous honors and awards including the a Grammy nomination for “Gonna Fly Now.”
In 2005, Mr. Ferguson was awarded Canada’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada.