Legendary Jazz Pianist Joe Sample Dead at 75

Legendary jazz pianist Joe Sample has died. He was 75.

The Texas-born musician’s family posted the news on his Facebook page last night. “At 9:50pm (Houston, TX time), September 12, 2014, Joe Sample passed,” read the post.

“His wife Yolanda and his son Nicklas would like to thank all of you, his fans and friends, for your prayers and support during this trying time. Please know that Joe was aware and very appreciative of all of your prayers, comments, letters/cards and well wishes.”

Though the family did not divulge on the cause of his death, Jazz Line reports that Sample had suffered from a “myriad of health issues” and suffered a heart attack in October 2013.

Joseph Leslie Sample was born in Houston, Texas on February 1, 1939. He learned to play the piano as early as five years old, later attending Texas Southern University to study music. There, he met drummer Stix Hooper, saxophonist Wilton Felder, and trombonist Wayne Henderson, and together they formed the legendary jazz-fusion group The Jazz Crusaders (later known as just The Crusaders). The group released over 40 albums before breaking up in the early 90s. Sample would go on to release over 15 albums as a solo artist.

Sample’s son Nicklas is also a musician and member of The Joe Sample Trio. He is also survived by his wife Yolanda.

We express our condolences to his family.

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