67 year old legendary keyboardist, composer, and singer George Duke passed away August 5th 2013. He was suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In his long career the music legend has played with a series of Jazz and Pop greats like Miles Davis, Michael Jackson and french violinist Jean Luc Ponty. The two musicians recorded an album in 1969. His work on Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” album earned him a Grammy Award. Geoge was a record producer and writer for Miles Davis albums Tutu and Amandla. He also had a solo career of his own in the 70’s with the single Reach For It which topped number 2 on Billboard R&B charts. His compositions have been featured in an array of movie soundtracks, video games and sampled by artist like Daft Punk, Mylo, Common, Kanye West and Ice Cube. In 2007 he worked on Jill Scott’s third album The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Volume 3. His net worth was $9 million from royalties and years of touring.
George was born in San Rafael California in 1946. As a child he fell in love with music and practiced several brass instruments, trombone, trumpet and saxophone in high school. He continued developing his musical skills and earned a bachelor’s degree in trombone composition from the San Francisco Conservatory. While working towards his Master’s degree at San Francisco State University Duke was playing a local bars in the city. He teamed up with several bands and traveled throughout California playing free shows at Festivals. George also used his formal education teaching a course on Jazz And American Culture at Merritt Junior College in Oakland.