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Andrew Hill: 1931-2007

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Dear Jazz Friends:

I've been asked by composer and pianist Andrew Hill's family to announce to the press that he died at 4 a.m. today, April 20, 2007, several years after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 75 years old and lived in Jersey City, NJ.

Hill, born June 30, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois (contrary to some previously published places and dates dates), had a lengthy international career as performer and recording artist, and educator (at Portland State University; he also gave master classes at New York University, and elsewhere; he leaves a voluminous and highly varied recorded legacy, dating from the 1950s (So In Love) to his 2006 trio album Time Lines (Blue Note), named to many critics' top ten lists. Hill is survived by his wife Joanne Robinson Hill, and a niece, nephew and cousin, besides a devoted coterie of friends, typically creative artists and perceptive fans.

As announced on April 11, Andrew Hill will receive an honorary doctorate of music degree from Berklee College of Music at commencement May 12; other honorees “for their achievements in the world of music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture" this year are Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and The Edge; this distinction has previously been extended to Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Quincy Jones and Ahmet Ertegun, among a few others.

On April 3, 2007 Boosey & Hawkes music publishers announced the addition of Andrew Hill “to its distinguished roster of composers" whose works will be promulgated through its auspices. For information on that agreement, contact Adina Williams, via the B&H jazz page.

Andrew was voted Jazz Composer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association four times, most recently in 2006; he received the 2003 JazzPar Award, and was one of the first to receive a Doris Duke Foundation Award for jazz composers. His recordings have been on Blue Note, Mosaic, Palmetto and Black Saint/Soul Note, among other labels.

Funeral and tribute information has not been determined. I first met Andrew in 1971, we kept in touch and became friendly, I regard him highly and am enriched to have known him.

--Howard Mandel


2006 Interview
Andrew Hill: Coming Back Full Circle

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