Considered to be one of the greatest living harmonica players on the planet, the 91-year-old Thielemans announced his decision this week.
The announcement coincided with Wednesday’s news that health reasons were forcing him to cancel a show in his home country of Belgium for the second time in three months.
Thielemans’ manager, Veerle Van de Poel, said Thielemans “considers his energy too limited for a full concert. He doesn’t want to disappoint his fans, hence his decision to stop playing,” reports Associated Press.
Along with guesting on many other artists’ albums, Thielemans played on several motion picture soundtracks, including “Midnight Cowboy.” He was designated a NEA Jazz Master in 2009.