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Khalil Shaheed, Noted Jazz Trumpet Player, Dies

Published: 2012-03-29
Khalil Shaheed Khalil Shaheed, a trumpet player who served as one of the Bay Area's most prominent jazz music educators and performed for several years with the drummer Buddy Miles, died Friday in Oakland. He was 63.

His family confirmed the death. In 2009, the trumpeter was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Mr. Shaheed's music career began in the 1960s as a horn player with Miles, a founding member of the Electric Flag and drummer for the Band of Gypsys, and, briefly, Jimi Hendrix.

But Mr. Shaheed's most notable work came later as a music teacher and advocate. He founded the Oaktown Jazz Workshop, an after-school program for teen students. He led an annual music camp at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, directed the Groovemobile free summertime concerts in local parks and ran several in-school jazz programs, including ones with the San Jose Jazz Society and the San Francisco Symphony.

His improvisational playing was known for its clarity, tone and flexibility. Mr. Shaheed performed with several local ensembles, from a Chinese funeral band to the Oakland East Bay Symphony. He also put together the 15-person Big Belly Blues Band, a group that took pride in straddling genres.

“Everything doesn't have to be ethereal and serious," Mr. Shaheed said in an interview with The Chronicle in 2002. “The whole idea of this music is to have some fun."


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