On March 29, 2020, Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki died aged 87. He was a Polish composer and conductor, one of the most important European and world composers of the 20th century. He composed four operas, eight symphonies and other orchestral pieces, a variety of instrumental concertos, choral settings of mainly religious texts, as well as chamber and instrumental works. Among his best known works are Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, Polish Requiem, Anaklasis and Utrenja, Symphony No. 3, his St. Luke Passion, Penderecki has won many prestigious awards, including the Commander’s Cross in 1964, the Prix Italia in 1967 and 1968, the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 1964, four Grammy Awards in 1987, twice in 1998, and 2017, Wolf Prize in Arts in 1987 and the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition in 1992.
On March 24, 2020, Emmanuel N’Djoké Dibango aka Manu Dibango died aged 86. He was musician (saxophone and vibraphone), developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk, and traditional Cameroonian music. He was a member of the seminal Congolese rumba group, African Jazz, and has collaborated with many musicians, including Fania All Stars, Fela Kuti, Herbie Hancock, Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, King Sunny Adé, Don Cherry, and Sly and Robbie. He was best known for his 1972 single “Soul Makossa”.
On March 20, 2020, Kenneth Ray Rogers aka Kenny Rogers died aged 81. He was singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and entrepreneur, member of the “Country Music Hall of Fame”. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, mostly in country music, and charted more than 120 hit singles, becoming one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
On March 6, 2020, Alfred McCoy Tyner died aged 81. He was composer, bandleader and pianist, one of the most recognizable and influential in jazz history. He has recorded and performed with many famous musicians including John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, George Benson, Art Farmer, Lou Donaldson, Benny Golson, Grant Green, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Milt Jackson, J.J. Jackson, Blue Mitchell, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, David Murray, Julian Priester, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Al Foster, Avery Sharpe, Woody Shaw, Jackie McLean, Cecil McBee, Jack DeJohnette, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Stitt and Stanley Turrentine, As a leader he recorded 74 albums. Tyner was a “NEA Jazz Master” and a five-time “Grammy” winner.
On February 18, 2020, Jon Ivar Christensen died aged 76. He was musician (drums) and composer, one of the most respected European Jazz drummers. He has recorded with artists such as Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Enrico Rava, Palle Danielsson, John Abercrombie, Michael Mantler, Miroslav Vitous, Terje Rypdal, Bobo Stenson, Eberhard Weber, Ralph Towner, Barre Phillips, Arild Andersen, Rainer Brüninghaus, Charles Lloyd, Dino Saluzzi, George Russell, John Clark, David Friedman, David Darling, Steve Kuhn, Lee Konitz, Pony Poindexter, Phil Woods, Leo Wright, Yelena Eckemoff and Tomasz Stanko.