The Associated Press reported this morning that Joe Zawinul was admitted to a hospital in Vienna for an undisclosed illness. “The group declined to confirm reports by Austrian public broadcaster ORF that Zawinul was seriously ill, saying the musician had requested that his rights as a patient and a private person be respected.” ORF later reported that “there is no mortal danger” to Zawinul.
Joe recently concluded a six-week European tour. During the tour his physical condition became noticeable to fans, as he required a wheelchair to get to the stage and was unable to stand to introduce the band members as he customarily does. A report by Marco Piretti on the Zawinul Fans mailing list indicated that Joe’s playing was top notch during a recent performance in Italy, but that he appeared to be exhausted afterwards and had lost weight. Another Zawinul Online visitor reported that at the August 1 Zawinul Syndicate concert in Hungary, Wayne Shorter joined Joe on stage to play a spontaneous, improvised ballad.
Joe is in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope for a full recovery and many more years of music.