Grover Washington Jr. was an American jazz-funk and soul-jazz saxophonist who was born on December 12, 1943, in Buffalo, New York. He was known for his unique style that reflected soul-jazz and jazz funk. He was also a songwriter and a composer who gained international recognition for his music. Washington passed away on December 17, 1999, at the age of 56. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at Grover Washington Jr’s life, career, and his cause of death.
Grover Washington Jr’s Life and Career
Grover Washington Jr. was born to Grover Washington Sr., a tenor saxophonist, and Lillian Washington, a church chorister. He was surrounded by musicians, including a brother who was an organist in church choirs and another brother who played the drums.
At the age of 8, Washington’s father gave him a saxophone, and he practiced and would sneak into clubs to see famous Buffalo blues musicians. In high school, Washington was a baritone saxophonist with the all-city high school band. Additionally, he studied chord progressions with Elvin Shepherd, a legendary trumpet player and saxophonist. After finishing high school at the age of 16, Washington left Buffalo and joined the Four Clefs, a Midwest ensemble, performing with them from 1959 to 1963.
Following the breakup of the Four Clefs, Washington joined Keith McAllister’s band, Mark III Trio, from Mansfield, Ohio. In 1965, Washington was drafted into the U.S. Army. During that time, he met Billy Cobham, a popular Panamanian American jazz drummer. After leaving the service in 1967, Washington began freelancing his musical skills throughout New York City and Philadelphia. His first album, Inner City Blues, was released on the Kudu Records label in 1971.
Grover Washington Jr’s Cause of Death
On December 17, 1999, Grover Washington Jr. collapsed while waiting in a green room following the taping of four songs for a television show. He was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center on West 59th Street following his collapse after he performed songs for ”The Saturday Early Show” on CBS. He died of an apparent heart attack, said Patricia Mannino, the office manager of Mr. Washington’s Philadelphia record company, G W Jr. Music Inc.
Grover Washington Jr. was a talented jazz saxophonist and composer who left a lasting impression on the music industry. His cause of death was an apparent heart attack, and he passed away on December 17, 1999, at the age of 56. His legacy and music continue to inspire and be celebrated by many pop, R&B, and jazz artists. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time. Rest in peace, Grover Washington Jr.