Sent to me from Charlie Haden's former publicist and close family friend. Not acting as official spokesperson...Thank you.
Charlie Haden, 1937-2014
Legendary musician, composer, bandleader, and educator Charlie Haden died this morning in Los Angeles, California, after a prolonged illness. He was 76 years old. His death was confirmed by his wife, Ruth Cameron.
Haden died peacefully, surrounded by his family, including Cameron, his wife of 30 years; his son Josh; and his daughters, triplets Petra, Rachel, and Tanya Haden.
The funeral will be private. Plans for a public memorial service will be announced shortly.
Charles Edward “Charlie” Haden was born August 6, 1937, in Shenandoah, Iowa. His entry into music came early: before his second birthday, he was singing on his parents’ country & western radio program.
He took up the bass in his teens, and in 1957, he relocated to Los Angeles and quickly became part of the burgeoning West Coast jazz scene that included Hampton Hawes, Paul Bley, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, and Dexter Gordon. It was there that he met Ornette Coleman, with whom he would record a series of highly influential albums, including 1959’s groundbreaking The Shape of Jazz To Come.
Among his many achievements, Haden has been hailed as an innovator who elevated the role of the bass from its traditional place in the rhythm section to a true melodic instrument.
In 1969, Haden partnered with Carla Bley to record Liberation Music Orchestra, a remarkable protest album that has become a milestone in recorded jazz.
During a career that spanned more than five decades, Haden collaborated with an astonishing array of musicians including Kenny Barron, Carla Bley, Paul Bley, Michael Brecker, Alan Broadbent, Don Cherry, Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Higgins, Keith Jarrett, Hank Jones, Abbey Lincoln, Larance Marable, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Paul Motian, Dewey Redman, Roswell Rudd, Archie Shepp, and Ernie Watts.
In 1982, Haden founded the prestigious CalArts Jazz program, where his students included Ravi Coltrane, Scott Colley, and Ralph Alessi.
In 1986, he formed Quartet West, whose elegant, lyrical albums remain among the most acclaimed in his vast body of work.
Haden’s love of world music led him to collaborate with a variety of international musicians throughout his career, including Egberto Gismonti, Carlos Paredes, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Dino Saluzzi.
Haden was the recipient of numerous awards and honors over the years, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Jazz Master (2012), three Grammy Awards, a lifetime achievement Grammy (2013), and four NEA grants for composition.