Weather Report jazz pianist dies

  • 14 September 2007

Jazz pianist Joe Zawinul, founder of 1970s group Weather Report, has died suffering from skin cancer.

The 75-year-old who was credited for bringing the electric piano to mainstream jazz, passed away at his home in Vienna.

Austrian president Heinz Fischer paid tribute the Zawinul, calling him a ‘music ambassador’.

He said in a statement: “As a person and through his music, Joe Zawinul will remain unforgettable for us all.”

During his career Zawinul played with jazz stars including Dinah Washington and Miles Davies.

He formed the Weather Report in the early 1970s and enjoyed his biggest hit - Birdland - in 1977, earning a Grammy for the group. They recently celebrated their 20th anniversary with a European tour.

The artist was due to perform at the La Villette jazz festival in Paris this month, but cancelled due to ill-health.

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