Wayne Shorter, a jazz and saxophone pioneer whose career spanned over half a century, died Thursday, March 2. He was 89.
Dubbed one of America’s greatest jazz saxophonists, Shorter was known for his complex jazz compositions and pioneering saxophone playing. So, relive his more than 50-year career and see the net worth he managed to amass.
Wayne Shorter’s Career
Shorter rose to prominence as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, for which he was also the primary composer, in the 1950s.
Come the 1960s, he joined Miles Davis’ Second Great Quinter and co-founded the jazz fusion band Weather Report. As a bandleader, he recorded more than 20 albums.
Many of his compositions became jazz standards, while his music earned worldwide recognition and critical praise.
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He had 12 Grammys to his name and was acclaimed for his mastery of the soprano saxophone. He then switched his focus from tenor in the late 1960s and began an extended reign in the 1970s as Down Beat’s annual poll winner for playing the said musical instrument.
He won the critics’ poll for ten consecutive years and the readers’ poll for 18. In 2017, he received the Polar Music Prize.
With these to his name, Shorter had a $17 million net worth at the time of his death.
Wayne Shorter Dead at 89
Shorter’s rep Alisse Kingsley announced the artist’s demise on Thursday, surrounded by his family in Los Angeles, though 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,” she said in a statement, via AP News, calling Shorter a “gentle spirit who was always inquisitive and constantly exploring.”
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Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock described Shorted in Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet as the “master writer.”
“The master writer to me, in that group, was Wayne Shorter. He still is a master. Wayne was one of the few people who brought music to Miles that didn’t get changed,” he said.
He also praised Shorter for his incredible musical expertise that left a special mark on his life.
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“Wayne Shorter, my best friend, left us with courage in his heart, love, and compassion for all, and a seeking spirit for the eternal future,” Hancock said in a statement. “He was ready for his rebirth. As it is with every human being, he is irreplaceable and was able to reach the pinnacle of excellence as a saxophonist, composer, orchestrator, and recently, composer of the masterful opera ‘…Iphigenia’. I miss being around him and his special Wayne-isms, but I carry his spirit within my heart always.”
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