Shorter died Thursday surrounded by his family, said Alisse Kingsley, a representative for the multi-Grammy winner. No cause of death was given.
“Visionary composer, saxophonist, visual artist, devout Buddhist, devoted husband, father, and grandfather Wayne Shorter has embarked on a new journey as part of his extraordinary life—departing the earth as we know it in search of an abundance of new challenges and creative possibilities,” a statement released by Kingsley said. It called him a gentle spirit who was “always inquisitive and constantly exploring.”
Shorter, a tenor saxophonist, made his debut in 1959 and would go on to be a foundational member of two jazz groups: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Miles Davis Quintet.
As a band leader, Shorter released more than 25 albums and won 12 Grammy Awards. In 2015 he was given a lifetime achievement Grammy. Last month, he won a Grammy in the category of best improvised jazz solo for “Endangered Species” with Leo Genovese.
Shorter’s work has been performed by several popular symphonies including Chicago, Detroit, and Lyon along with the National Polish Radio Symphonic and Orpheus Chamber orchestras.
In his career, Shorter has had more than 200 compositions and was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2018.
Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter performs at the 5 Continents Jazz Festival in Marseille, southern France, on July 23, 2013. (Claude Paris/AP Photo)
By The Associated Press