Joe Zawinul Memorial Page

Legendary musician Joe Zawinul passed away on September 11, 2007. He was 75 years old. He was an absolutely unique figure in the jazz world who led an incredible life. Though he left us in body, he remains with us in spirit. He touched the lives of countless individuals around the world, and his recorded legacy of music will enrich us forever.

On the day of Joe’s death, fans began posting messages on this web site; thoughtful and poignant messages of grief and celebration of Joe’s life and work. I have established this page as a permanent place in which to display those messages; a place to honor Joe’s memory.

I hope you will continue to add to the memorial as time goes on.

204 thoughts on “Joe Zawinul Memorial Page

  1. gonzo

    just heard about joes death at’s speakeasy. i am severely saddened very near tears. thank you joe for the many years of great joy i got from your music.

  2. John Maisterra

    I grew up with Ivan and so I had the rare opportunity to personally know the Zawinual family. I am truly saddend by the the losses of both Maxine and Joe. I will always cherish the moments that I spent at the Zawinul home. They were very kind and private people. They now belong to the ages.

  3. artur

    just to thank you for keeping the zawinulonline website, i’m very sad with Zawinul’s death, he was one of my inspirers when i was studying music, and the one who made me change from Clarinet to keyboards, also, hearing his melody/harmony concepts (and his use of synthesizers) made me hear/play music in other way…thank you Joe !


  4. robert

    Still in shock – heard it this morning. Hope that everyone who was ever inspired by him, will return again and again to his sounds. Saw him in London and Rotterdam this year and was planning to see him again here in London. At the last concerts I saw, I was amazed at his ability to keep covering new ground, playing new things. Burning with strength. Hope that it inspires us – who stay here on earth-time – to do the things we love to do and to not waste any time. Peace.

    RIP mr Zawinul

  5. Mike

    My name is Mike Cravens (Jamie Swanson is an old school friend of mine).

    Thanks for maintaining a site for jazz geeks to grieve.

    Joe had a tremendous impact on me as a musician. He indirectly influenced, inspired, and shaped, my approach and attitude. My analogy of Joe is he is The Only keyboardist that you could actually feel and hear his breath in his phrasing/solo work whether it was a passing-transitional phrase or a solo piece, I could always hear/feel the breathing pattern and heartbeat through his finger tips. He was cool without trying to be.

    My heart aches for the loss, but that’s my selfishness,

    Enjoy your journey Joe, we loved you madly.

    Mike Cravens
    San Dimas, Ca

  6. marco

    I just would like to share my sadness about the death of Joe Zawinul. He was one of the few who made music for the peoples of the world and his was a powerful message….


    Marco Boschele

  7. yavor

    Very sad news indeed! I want to express my condolences to the Zawinul family! And to all people around the world who loved his music and personality. I can’t say this came to me totally unexpected. I had the chance to visit probably one of his last performances in Vezsprem , Hungary on August 1st. It was 10 years after I saw him live for last time and I was very excited about the band. When Joe went on stage he didn’t look well and that made me really sad and worried. But the music was so great and the band was hot. I could see Sabine Kabongo backstage crying and very emotional. That made me even more sad. Wayne Shorter was there too for one last take of “In A Silent Way”. Since then I have been checking regularly the web about his condition. And now my worst expectations came true. It is really sad!

    Joe Zawinul is one of my favourite musicians and I am so glad that I had the chance to see him live. I never saw Miles live. When he passed away I was too young to understand this kind of music but later when his music and his world was revealed to me I felt him so close as if I knew and saw him. And although I am not his contemporary for me he is still alive with what he left. Now when Joe is gone I feel the same way about him. He lives on!!!

  8. keith


    Thank you for maintaining such a wonderful website.

    In the last few years I have seen the Zawinul Syndicate many times across europe and especially in Vienna mostly based on information in your website. During this time I have got to know Joe and the band quite well and hearing them night after night has been a life changing experience.

    Music has always been my passion and I have admired Joe as a composer and musician since hearing “Scarlet Woman” distantly across an architecture studio more than 35 years ago. He has provided the soundtrack to my life ever since.

    Recently I decided to move to Germany partly because I wanted to have more time for music and composing (which has always been pushed aside by my architecture career) The inspiration for this has come from Joe, his genius, his creative and questing spirit, his humanity and good humour, and above all his wonderful music.

    Today’s news is just so sad and cruel to happen in his 75th year. I saw him in March this year in Jazz Cafe, London and then again at Birdland, Wien when they played wondefully as always. I was so happy to see Paco back in the band with his astonishing groove hooking up with Linley’s raw talent. The band was so fresh, exploratory, and life affirming.

    The additional shocking news (in your article) that Maxine died in July as well seems doubly cruel.

    Like you I have been listening to much of Joe’s music recently (especially “Brown Street”….I was there in Birdland that week thanks to your information). Last night I was listening to various YouTube videos until the early hours not knowing what was to come.

    Victory Bailey described Joe (in Birdland) as “my father in music”

    I guess that is how I feel too.

    RIP Joe.

    Curt…..thanks once again for providing the information which has fueled this musical journey.

    Keith Tomlinson

  9. John

    just heard the news, and through my tears i remember
    seeing him every tour he conducted here in uk. i still
    have the very badly recorded tapes from hammersmith
    and i had the opportunity of being a stage-hand a few
    times when he used my yamaha grand piano, back in the
    early days! joe will never die for because his
    inspiration lives on. i saw last at the jazz cafe this
    march. long live joe!

    jim hawkins

  10. mikael

    Dear Curt Bianchi

    I just want to thank you for your work with the incredible website Zawinul Online. It’s been a fantastic source of knowledge and news, as well as inspiration. Just as for you, the music of Joe Zawinul and Weather Report has been a part also of me since I was a teenager, more precisely since 1974. So just as you, I feel very sorry today. However, I also feel very happy for the memories from the last 2 years when I’ve seen him four times, twice in Copenhagen (the last one two months ago in July) and twice in Malmö (two days in a row in 2006). It’s of course very difficult to choose a piece in order to commemorate him, but after I had got the news I played Cannonball. That felt as a good choice. Hope you could subcribe to that.

    Again, thank you immensely for the wonderful work with the website and I hope you’ll continute to keep it alive!

    Very best regards
    Mikael from Malmö, Sweden, a reseacher in sociology who has tried to translate (learnt from, got inspired by) the music of Joe Zawinul and Weather report (also as examples of multiculture and integration) into research and in a way succeeded half a year ago when in a lecture I illustrated some ideas by Domino Theory, ended the lecture by playing Black Market (the wonderful version at Brown Street) and got the whole audience (50 persons) to dance to it and my own photos of Malmö, the most multicultural city in Sweden with 165 nationalities, whose potential I tried to highlight by showing the photos, playing Black Market and getting the audience to dance – a marvelleous expericence!

  11. nick

    Tonight I shed tears for a man whom I met only once, and saw perform only twice – that, I suppose, is some measure of the mark Joe and his music have made on me.

    I’m often asked by friends what is the greatest concert I’ve ever been to – I always tell them it’s too difficult to decide but I always mention that Weather Report at the Birminghma Odeon in 1980 would be in the top 2 or 3. Even after 27 years the details of that performance are so clear and vivid – the opening with Night Passage, Jaco’s incredible solo, the finale of Badia/Boogie Woogie Waltz – incredible musicianship! Over the previous 3 years of listening to LPs I’d already come to realise that Weather Report were great – but nothing prepared me for this!!!

    The performance I saw at the Jazz Cafe earlier this year was in the same category – only this time and had the best view in the house – right next to Joe’s keyboard stack! And it was here that I learned to really appareciate the increbible talent of the man, as he conducted his band and the all the while playing the most wonderful piano. The signed copy of ‘Bown Street’ I obtained after the show is amongst my most treasured musical momentos.

    Of course, our loss as fans is nothing compared to the loss of the Zawinul family – if you could pass on my sincere condolances to the them I would be very grateful. They can can take great comfort that Joe made so many people so very happy – that is a great leagacy for anyone to leave.

    Finally, I’d like to thank you Curt for maintining your web-sites on Joe and Weather Report – through these pages we’ve become friends of a sort. If Joe and his music stood for anything I believe that it was the world would be a better place if more people could communicate feely with each other – you’ve helped to do that via your work and thats a great leagacy too.

    Very Best Wishes,

    Nick Bloomfield
    Fan of Joe Zawinul and Weather Report
    Milton Keynes

  12. raffi

    Very sad. He was simply the best. One simple chord of this man worths more than an entire oeuvre of many keybordists. Thank you very much Mr. zawinul. Your music gave happines to my life.

  13. steve

    I’m just a fan of Weather Report for many years, and am saddened by the passing of Joe Zawinul. For some reason, we’re losing many of this generation of jazz too quickly and it all happens to be in this year (Alice Coltrane, Michael Brecker, Max Roach, along with Joe). I just pray that the ones now studying jazz will hear just a fraction of what we heard growing up with these folks.

    Joe – RIP.


    Steve Mowery
    Puxico, Missouri, USA

  14. colin

    I heard the sad news early this morning (Tuesday) on BBC radio here in England. I really can’t believe it, his inspirational music has been a part of my life for so long that I felt he was going to be around forever.

    Joe Zawinul’s musical concept has had a massive influence on me and many other musicians I know. I’m a pro musician, I play electric bass and I can honestly say that the music of Joe Zawinul – his compositions and playing – has been the single most important influence in my development as a musician.

    Joe Zawinul was a genius – and that is the truth. He’s known as a jazz musican but the music that he created went way beyond catagory – it had everything. Truly wonderful, emotionally uplifting music that is of the highest order in every way.With Weather Report he just blew everything else away, no other group could touch them and then he continued to do the same with the Zawinul Syndicate.

    I’ll always love his musical concept and it’s as much an inpiration to me now as it ever was.

    best regards,
    Colin McKenzie

  15. roberto

    After Bergman, Antognoni and Pavarotti, another great artist leaves us. I was at a concert of Zawinul Syndicate in Napoli, Italy, on 21st July 2002, and still now I remember that concert as one of the best I’ve ever listened to and lived.
    Have a good journey, Joe.

    Ghirigori Baumann

  16. miles

    I know I am one of thousands when I say how much I will miss Joe, a man I sadly never got to meet but a man who helped set me on a musical path, a man who kept raising the bar for all of us to aim for and the man who left us all with the most incredible music and musical spirit the man who brought the very best out of all the musicians who he worked with. What he did for music and musicians will be talked about for years to come by serious musicians and artist alike.

    Thank-you for this great website, your hard work and your kind words about ……………….. ONE OF THE GREAT ONES !


  17. Andre

    I think the music speaks for itself. Zawinul is a main influence for millions of people(musicians or not) all over the world. His music is in the hearts and minds of all of us,forever. Thank you,Joe.

  18. pete


    we’ve never met, but I did post a review of one of Joe’s performances at the Catalina…

    We can consider ourselves blessed, not just for hearing him live or having the chance to speak with him, but first for finding a genre and an artist that spoke so specially to us. Most people, even most professed fans, never find that special connection that elevates music to such a personal art.

    Anyway, thanks for your efforts on line. Keep us appraised of any services or even the evolution of Joe’s legacy. His music, more important, his influence will live forever.


  19. julie

    Just a quick note among many recalling 30 years ago, discovering in “Heavy Weather” the great magic that is the Zawinul sound and harmony … and story … the rich colorful music filled my countless musical hours with great joy. What a treasure Josef Zawinul gave, and gives. I am so sad he is no longer with us, but for in my musical mind, forever.

  20. chris

    Dear Zawinul fans – wherever / whoever you are

    I went on google after I heard the news to tty and connect with someone whose life was profoundly impacted by the work of Joe Zawinul. I found you.

    My wife doesn’t know any of his work, and neither do my kids. I have a couple of friends that I gew up playing music with that we fans of Weather Report.

    Joe Zawinul was the man that humaized fusion. He made it sexy, he made it heartbreaking, He made it breath and didn’t command you to listen – he let us in on the journey.

    I saw Weather Report in Boston during the Black Market / Heavy Weather era. I cried during that concert as it was so utterly moving in conveying such complex subject matter in a such an easy to understand way. Joyus, sad, profound, and thought provoking are about the only words I can use without minimizing how beatiful his composing, improvisation, sound sculpting truely were.

    The world is a better place because of the contribution of this master music maker.

    Thanks for giving me a place to express these feelings on this day of reflection. His voice, vision and influence will live forever!


    Chris Johnson

  21. rich

    This has been a devastating day for millions, with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and, for many of us, the news of Joe’s death. As a keyboard player who accidentally stumbled onto “Pharoah’s Dance” at a friend’s house in 1970, and has been a fanatic ever since, my heart is beyond broken. I had the joy of seeing the original weather report (with Miroslav) in 1971 and the first Syndicate with Scott Henderson et al and fully expected to see Joe many more times. He just seemed to be beyond death.

    But to you, thanks for maintaining the most comprehensive, information-packed website about Josef Zawinul anywhere in the world. Believe me, I DEEPLY share your grief. I hope you won’t abandon the zawinulonline site–it’s been a source of endless news and info to me.

    Thanks again, and may we all be thankful.


  22. ricardo

    This is one of the saddest days in my life.I know a lot a people are feeling the same way,cause Zawinul and his music has been part of the life of many people around the world.

    All I know is that Joe will live forever,his music and the way he lived will never cease to be a source of inspiration for musicians and non musicians.

    I´m a keyboard player,and you can imagine how much he´s influenced me over the years.But most of all, it makes me want to be a better human being.

    I´m going to Vienna by the end of this month, and yesterday I bought the tickets to his show with the Absolute Orchestra, so I was shocked this morning when I read on Scott Kinsey´s MySpace page (Scott was my teacher when I lived in LA) that Joe passed way.

    I wanna thank you very much for your hard work over this years helping to spread the word of one of the greatest artists that walked Earth.

    May his art live forever.

    All the best from Brazil,
    Ricardo Fiuza

  23. marcus

    Quite simply, Joe was the greatest musical influence of my life, maybe almost too much influence because at one time I knew every Weather Report tune practically note for note and spent a lot of time learning how to craft the soulful kind of ‘sizer sounds that he was, and may always be, the best at doing.

    This morning when I woke up a little before 5am Pacific Standard Time (near Seattle), for some reason Joe popped into my head. I had been watching a bunch of YouTube videos of him and his colleagues, like Richard Bona and Bobby McFerrin, and I just had this strangest feeling: “I wonder if he’s okay” is what went through my mind. I guess I’ve had a connection with him that was deeper than even I thought I had.

    The other thing that struck me was that, recently, I started thinking about trying to assemble a group of capable players to do a Weather Report/Joe&Wayne tribute. If any of you know anything about Seattle, it’s not the best city in the USA for non-mainstream or non-Dixieland jazz, for whatever reason I don’t know (and it sometimes seems almost hostile to progressive keyboardists). Joe came here last about 8-10 years ago.

    So I figured, well, the only way people are going to hear that kind of music around here is if some of the locals play it. Well, now that’s true in a different way, a way I had hoped was still a long way off. I guess I always hoped he’d come back at least one more time.

    Thanks, Joe. You are the best of the best–a musician’s musician–and I will try to help to keep your legacy alive.

    Marcus Duke

  24. jeffjazz

    Wow! Very sad to hear he is gone. How incredibly ironic that earlier today I was playing keyboard at the Trenton War Memorial with a jazz trio and the last tune I called was Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. On 9-11 no less. Joe must have been listening and smiling.
    RIP Joe. What an incredible gift.
    Jeff Knoettner
    aka jeffjazz

    Some on this post today said that one of the best concerts he saw him play was at the Trenton War Memorial. Wow!

  25. prax55

    thank you for this pages

    many years i listen zawinul´s music
    many years i love the jaco pastorius bass guitar sound
    and many times i hade found informations on your pages

    with many thanks


  26. Benjamin

    Just a few days ago I played his tune „Mercy, Mercy, Mercy“ on my birthday with my Soprano Sax & a friend on guitar and now I read this message of his passing. Very sad news…
    I experienced his music when I was a teenager. That was around the “Night Passage” Tour and from day on I began to love his playing and experimenting with sounds & rhythms. I saw him the last time playing Live in the Quasimodo Club in Berlin. That was around spring time. What a wonderful concert it was. And still his music keeps me fascinating & inspiring.



  27. ronald

    One of the greatest musicians have gone. Seen him recently (again) at the North Sea Jazz festival, playing like mad. At the end, something he never did before: thanking the public for all those great years, as if he knew it was his latest concert.

    Rest in peace Joe, your world music will live for ever. Thank you for giving me a great time being at your concerts.

    Rotterdam – The Netherlands.

  28. michael

    Seldom a day was that sad to me, not even on the death of my grand parents (my parents and parents in law are still alive). I was lucky to attend three Syndicate concerts the last years and they all were really great ones. But it’s not only his music, but Joe was a great man – I could always feel his warmth and power, so I’m hoping (though I’m not very religious) to meet Joe again when my time will have come.
    Thanks a lot for this homepage which I hope will stay alive. I’ll be able to meet the hearts and spirit of Joe and all my fellow listeners through the words.
    Thanks again
    Michael (Germany)

  29. littlewing1430

    Zawinul was without a doubt one of the most musical staggering talents of the last 50 years. Not only as one of the pioneering fusion artists but also as a brilliant keyboardist/composer. In a silent way, mercy, mercy, me…are standards today.

    I had the good fortune of seeing the Zawinul Syndicate perform in Mumbai India in 1997 – they played a killer set as expected.

    He will live forever.

  30. attila

    I give thanks for God that I saw and heard him Aug 1 in Veszprém, Hungary. When they played a piece together with Wayne Shorter there was a standing ovation. It was the most marvellous and enthusiastic concert that I’ve ever heard and seen.
    Thanks a lot for Joe for this and I’m sure he will live forever in our hearts and souls through his music.
    God bless him and his family.
    Budapest – Hungary

  31. romainlabaye

    I was 14 when I heard for the first time “Birdland”. That was for me, a musical revolution. I’ll begin to love the music of Weather Report, and Zawinul Syndicate. I saw him 4 times, and that was wonderful. The last time I saw him, it was in the theater of my father on april 3th , and we spent a long evening together before the show (with his syndicate too.) my dream has been realized!… And during the soundcheck, Paco Séry told me to take his drum sticks (he knew that i’m a drummer, i know him a little bit..) and I was so… impressed by Joe, i didn’t take the drum sticks. Today, I’m very sad. I lost my hero. I’m sad. There is no word to explain my sadness. But his music is still alive! and I hope for a long long long time!! My last dream was the concert in La Villette, on September 6th. He had to play with Zawinul Syndicate, and Wayne Shorter would came on stage to play with them. And that was my biggest dream to see them playing together… but Joe’s illness has forced to cancel this beautiful evening. Now, i hope Joe’s is OK. All my thought are for him and his family.
    Bye, Joe!

  32. stevebull

    Tears today for my all time hero, Joe. It must be tough for his family to lose a mind of genius to a mere mortal body. He seemed so strong and alive when we met him after his finest performance (to me) at the Jazz Cafe in London, this March. I said Ellington would have been proud of the way he conducted his band that night, and he told me Ellington was his hero, and I told him, “you are mine”. There have been many greats in music, but there will never be another like Joe.

  33. Mickovski

    The death of the superb musician, great artist and larger than life man deeply saddened me. I will always cherish the memory of meeting him backstage at the Skopje Jazz Festival and shaking his hand as a gratitude to everything he had done for the jazz music in the world and, particularly for that show, the impromptu on a ‘Doncho stipjancheto’ Macedonian folklore theme. A giant of the world music meets the Eternity where his music lives.

  34. mercurial


    Thanks for putting so much love into this site- it’s a great resource. I first saw Joe with Weather Report at the Beacon Theater NYC in 1978, and it changed my life. Not only did it make me want to become a bass player (which I did), it also made me aware of the impact that synthesizers and group improvisation could have in the right hands. I feel lucky to have seen WR during their heyday with Jaco on two occasions, and Zawinul was a big influence on me as a synthesist as well. What a brilliant man- Player, composer and synthesist, and absolutely stunning at all three.

    I play with the trumpeter Jon Hassell, who was also deeply saddened by yesterday’s news. When we were in Sweden awhile back, I saw Wayne’s group play at the same festival we were at, and it was interesting. Although it was wonderful to see and hear him for the first time since the WR days, it was just so conservative and normal compared to what WR was in the late 70s. It made me realize acutely (again) how Joe and Wayne’s complimentary talents had created the chemical reaction that was the Weather Report juggernaut, and also what an incredible visionary musical force Joe was. What a sad day for music.

    Peter Freeman
    Los Angeles

  35. javy

    As I drove in to work this morning, I had Mysterious Traveller, perhaps one of WR’s less recognized and appreciated albums and I was blasting my favourite tracks (Scarlet Woman, Cucumber Slumber). I then retrieved my voicemail only to be told by a good friend of Joe’s passing. Chills went up and down my spine as I heard his announcement.

    Joe Zawinul is without a doubt, the best keyboard player of his generation and perhaps the best ever. No matter the piano, acoustic or electric, organ or synth, he is a master of them all. He music and influence will live on forever. Interesting how some of his songs received Grammys but not him. I had the pleasure of watching him and his syndicate perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival a few years ago. He was presented with the ‘Miles Davis’ award for lifetime achievement.

    My condolences to his sons and all of his family. Somehow, I have this picture in my mind of Zawi and Jaco playing up in the skies….Too cool.

  36. roger

    I have been looking at your website for Joe this morning, I keep having to find articles online about Joe since I found out about his passing yesterday morning. I still can’t really believe it, I always thought he’d go on forever. His memory will.

    Like you, I have been a big fan of Joe’s work thought my life since I was a teenager listening to whatever Weather Report’s latest album was (Black Market was the first for me).

    The highlight of my life was three years ago in Cardiff (Wales) when Joe played at the St. David’s Center. Fortunately for me, I knew the organiser of that event and he asked if I wanted to go back stage to meet the man. Of course I said yes please. When I met Joe backstage, I shook his hand but could not say anything other than ‘Hello’, I was so in awe. But I had met my idol face to face.

    I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Joe’s sons, and a very big thank you to Joe.


  37. johnr

    I dont know where to start, its a very sad time for
    everyone, right now I’m just looking at all the news online.
    Crazy thing was I was playing Faces and Places last night
    and thought I should check my email….I’m just so glad i had
    an opportunity to meet Joe and shake the man’s hand, and like
    his music you never forget it (that gruff ol voice he had)
    and thank you Curt for all of your efforts right from the
    start and look forward to hearing from you in time.

    John Roder
    New Zealand

    ps i was shocked to read that his wife recently passed away
    also……i had no idea of this.

  38. richard

    As an aging fan I can still picture exceptional Weather Report performances from the ‘70’s. Aside from his unquestionable musical skills, JZ had a magnetic persona and stage presence. He also commanded the very obvious respect of his band members throughout the years. Fortunately many of his later Zawinul Syndicate performances could be enjoyed at intimate club venues in London like Ronnie Scotts and the Jazz Café (only a few months ago). He seemed to be forever surrounded by musicians of exceptional calibre – always a visual and musical feast!

    Fortunately the image of these performances lives on as, of course, does his music – in a timeless way.

    I add my own thanks to those of others who show appreciation for your website.

    London Richard

  39. clockdoc70

    I am sorry to hear of Joe’s passing and give my condolences to his family. Joe and Weather Report were one of the greatest fusion jazz pioneers to ever enlighten our lives with true music. We will miss him and know he will be waiting for the rest of us in the higher realms of spirituality…May the Supreme Being bless you Joe Zawinul……….

  40. doc

    Joe Zawinul gave assemblies of circuit boards a Voice. He never settled for a tone that fell short of real, human, and expressive. For this alone he should be paraded through the streets in a sedan chair carried by todays sample-jockeys and button-pushers…. and then there were his compositional chops , his keyboard technique, and his improvisational intuitions.
    But it seemed to me that what JZ always strived for, more than any of those laudable qualities above, was to be unique…and he made it! There’ll never be another like Joe.
    What a huge loss to the ears of humanity.
    Big footprints indeed!

  41. pbylsma

    On a sad sad day
    we have been so lucky
    to have known him,
    to have heard him
    to have seen him

    Like Ellington and Porter
    He was the best we had
    Helping us learn, listen and live

    bands like String Cheese and others
    keep his music alive
    and so will we always
    we will not forget him!

    To all those who share this day of sadness
    Listen to Bimoya
    The spirit lives on and on and on
    I won’t let him be forgotten!

  42. Sebastian Mondejar

    Until always, Joe. Although you have gone away in 11 of September, you did not have a twin tower. You are unique. A malignant tumor has uprooted to you of the Earth, but you have seeded the kindness Earth.

    Thanks for your site, Curt.

  43. Jim


    Thanks for your efforts. In 1972-73 while working at a record store in Boulder,CO. a fairly new and relatively unknown WR was in town, playing for a week at a club, Tulagi, across the street from the store. Musicians tended to come in a check out the stock and generally hang around the area. Joe seemed most interested in hiking the nearby mountains during the daytime that week. Perhaps ingrained from his Austrian youth?

    Aren’t we fortunate, in this time of loss to have such a rich trove of recorded work to remember him by. Check out “The Rise & Fall of the Third Stream” (Vortex, 1968) for a different sound.

    Thanks Joe!

  44. vdrum

    Fond memories of watching Weather Report at a midnight show at Carnegie Hall/NYC. I walked up the aisle during the show with my brother. We made it to the stage and I said to my Brother, “pretend you have a camera in your hands”. We held non-exsistant cameras in out hands and had our elbows on the stage like a couple of pro news photographers. Joe and Jaco both saw this and laughed and smiled at us. The music was magic..the image of Joe’s smiling face permanently burned into my brain via our invisible camera!

    As sad as his passing is, can you JUST IMAGINE the gates of heaven opening up to recieve him? You can bet he’s shredding out his best notes at this very second!

  45. curfewjazz

    He lives on for me in something he once said: “Be happy, but don’t be satisfied”. Which is good a way to live your life as I’ve ever heard. Met him many times and he was just that: happy but not satisfied – which is how he kept pushing ahead and making great music for so long. Thanks Joe.

  46. aprasad

    I’m totallly crushed by this news.

    As a music journalist, many people often ask me “Who’s your favorite musician?” I always avoided the question because I thought it was an impossible thing to answer. However, when I consider that I’ve seen Joe perform more than 30 times, that I’ve even quit a day job and lost my American health insurance because I knew my boss wouldn’t let me leave early enough to go to a week long run of his shows in Oakland, CA, that I’ve gone to epic lengths to collect as much music as I possibly can by him in every configuration and collaboration I could find, the fact that I traveled to Vienna to visit his club, the fact that almost every album he put out was listened to endlessly, and the fact that I actually slammed back a shot of Slivovitz at his recommendation and nearly passed out :-), the inescapable conclusion emerged: Joe is without question the musician I admire the most.

    That Joe played to the very end really says something about the man. His dedication and commitment to the music in my opinion was unmatched. The vast majority of Joe’s recordings will stand the test of time. I believe many future generations of people will discover his music. I think each of us can also play a role in helping ensure people hear his work.

    This is a tremendously sad day, but it’s also one in which we can collectively celebrate the great life and music of a phenomenal, unmatched talent. We’ll never, ever see the likes of Joe again.

  47. mesfin yohannes

    I read this morning of Zawinul’s passing. He was very special, a tremendous life force, and I’m sure his music will continue to enrich our lives.

  48. emelessen

    i am very sad. his image and music have been with me for 30 years (forever). it is the only music on this planet that sounds like it’s not from this planet, and that can actually move me to tears. thank you for a place to mourn.

  49. gkid

    Each note played by Joe is a source of joy and happiness.
    Whenever I am sad or desperate I listen to Joe’s music to improve, it is my remedy for bad mood. But now I heard the bad news and there’s no remedy for my sadness.

    Thank you, Joe. You have your place in my mind and heart forever.


  50. Roine Sangenberg

    Its so empty right now. Joe was and still is My great Mentor, now in over 30 Years of love & inspiration to My heart. Saw Him for the last time 2006 & I have a ticket here to Hes show in Sweden this Year, November 10. Im so sad that this concert never will be now. Thanks for Your amazing Spirit Joe. Roine.

  51. dpeebles

    As my friend Peter mentioned above, indeed it is a sad day for music. I woke up in the middle of the night and put the radio on just in time to hear the news on NPR. It was surreal. like so many have posted, I too strangely had an impulse (craving) yesterday to listen to Joe and WR from the short list I keep on my iphone, Orphans and Port of Entry.

    It may just be percieved but I often feel as though there is such a shortage of true artists today, people who transcend time, technique and technology and really channel a vein of expression that comes from deep within oneself. Joe was so profound in everything he touched and I can only say helped me focus repeatedly on what is really meaningful, beautiful and liberating. The past two years I have had a renewed hunger for that body of work and I can’t recommend enough the WR live in Montruex DVD which recently was finally released. Pristine and awe inspiring, pure.

    Curt, I too would like to thank you for all you have put into this site and helping to document such an amazing life, and keeping Joe’s presence at the fore. I was able to see ZS at Lincoln center earlier this year thanks to finding out about it from your efforts. What can one say? Magic, pure spiritual magic.

    Condolences to the surviving family and please if there are any organizations or causes they would wish us to contribute to in Joe’s honor keep us posted. It would be the least we could give back.

    Don Peebles

  52. wolde

    When I found out this morning that Joe Zawinul had past away I just lost my breath, and since then there has been a big empty space in my chest. I was kind of puzzeled with this, as I love his music – it is just a part of me – but I have never met the man in person. But still it feels as I know him deeply, that is why I am so touched by this sad news. To me, the music of Joe Zawinul spoke directly to me, to my heart. He spoke about love, of standing up for your beliefs, he spoke of passion, joy and compassion. And I will miss that voice. Thank you Joe, thank you for everything; your voice is gone but your music will be remembered.
    Michael Wolde

  53. Hauer

    Curt, thanks again for the website, hope you will continue.
    Glad that you came over to Birdland last September.

    Condolences to the Zawinul family, I´d offer my support if there were anything I could do (except spreading Zawinuls music) and thanks to Eric for letting me sneak into the club during the soundcheck.

    What a strange situation it has been for the last few weeks, working only a few kilometers away from that hospital.

    I have been to 30+ Zawinul concerts during the last 24 years, most of them great. No need to tell you what was so special. The music, the smile, his eyes. I`ll “never” forget that.

    One remark: Despite all his awards and fame I think he may still be the most underrated of the great musicians. And the honouring grave the City of Vienna granted him yesterday will not change that.

    So next time I will visit him will be in the vicinity of our former presidents of the republic, somewhere near Beethoven, Brahms and Schoenberg.

    Though Joe was one of the very few really important people in my life I haven’t shed any major tears so far. I do not believe Joe would have want me to. Better to make music. Maybe drink a schnaps or two. And do what we were born to do.

    He did.

    Gerhard Hauer
    Berndorf, Austria

  54. wolde

    When I heard the news that one of my favourite muscians, Joe Zawinul has passed away yeasterday I jus lost my breath, And since then I have felt a big empty space in my chest. Though I never met the man in person, I feel so sad, it is just as I have lost one someone very close to me. And so it is. Joes music spoke direct to me, to my heart with a powerful message. It was a message of love and compassion, about standing up for yourself, and of sheer passion for life and joy. Dear Joe, your voice will be missed but your music will be remembered.
    Michael Wolde
    And to you Curt – thank you for keeping this wonderful site up and running!

  55. miles831

    I’m not going to say much for fear I would lose what’s really important… but I miss Joe Zawinul already, and jazz musicians everywhere are worse off without his continuing musical presence. He was progressive and a true artist. Jazz has very little like him left. The day people stop caring about his music is the day I forget jazz entirely and I mean that. R.I.P. and we love you.

  56. mrgone78

    I couldn’t believe it when I read that Joe had passed on. He is one of the greatest heroes of my life. Joe gave me my introduction to jazz and improvised music through Weather Report. As a 13 year old listening to Weather Report for the first time, I was absolutely blown away by the music i was hearing – I was introduced to whole new dimension of sound. When listening back to the music today, I am blown away moreso than I was then.

    It’s interesting because I haven’t listened to Joe’s music in a long time. That is, up until last week, when weirdly I began listening to Weather Report and some Zawinul Syndicate stuff and thinking about Joe again. I know it sounds far-fetched, but it was a weird coincidence, and it left me even more shocked and even sadder when I found out.

    Joe’s music has touched, changed and inspired so many people throughout his time (just think of the number of people that would have become musicians alone thanks to him and his music – that would be a considerable amount!!!). There is no question his music and spirit will live on to continue to do that.

    His spirit will live on forever. I am listening to Jungle Book from Mysterious Traveller right now, and this beautiful piece of music is just one of the reasons why I know Joe will live on in all of lives.

    He will always be remembered!

  57. PAB

    Thank you Joe for giving me such incredible music. I’m listening to it since 35 years and I’ll continue to do it indefinitely. You are keeping the first place in my jazz musicians compilation.

    Good luck, Joe, you are unforgettable!

    Pierangelo Bolis, Italy

  58. stuart

    This is a very sad day for me. I wasn’t expecting this, as I hadn’t been aware of his health problem.

    JZ is someone I admired pretty much right from his first commanding contributions to In a Silent Way. I had been aware of him with Adderley and stupidly missed a chance to catch him live with Adderley’s band back in ’68. By the time of Weather Report, I was already hooked, and that group became The Model in my mind of the finest modern instrumental combo in the world. I was fortunate enough to see/hear WR in concerts about six different times over the 70s & 80s. I was also treated to the opportunity to catch his one-man show at Berklee Performance Center in Boston shortly after WR disbanded, before he got the Syndicate rolling.

    Consider the total range of the recordings he’s left us, not to mention the delights of his various live performances, and you see a spectrum of music created by a diligent composer & arranger, and the marvelous touches he brought out through his keyboards (rehearsed and improvised), plus his music as performed by others. That’s quite a display. I always contended that JZ was right there among the greatest composers and arrangers who’ve ever lived. And his keyboard skills were both dazzling and deeply moving.
    His 1st three solo albums are all good, but I’ll always have a special place for that wonderful ’70 eponymous third album with its masterful version of ‘Dr. Honoris Causa’. Listening to that will be the only thing that can lift me out of this cloud. The entire world will remain so much poorer now without him still with us.

    – Stuart Troutman, Charlotte NC US

  59. Des

    Dear Curt, I heard about Joe’s health problems over the last few weeks on your site and I sensed things were rough. I checked it at 4pm today and am shattered… I have been in tears all afternoon.

    Joe’s music has been in my house for thirty years. He has been an inspiration to me not only for his wonderful music but in the way that he continued to evolve as a spirit and artist…
    Joe and Jaco and Miles up there. And we’re all stuck down here without a ticket for the gig…
    Best wishes at this sad time,

    Des Hughes in Scotland

  60. kerkula

    Curt. I learned of Joe’s passing this morning. Odd but just a week ago i was thinking, if i were left on a desert island what composer’s works would i want with me. the answer was easy – Joe Zawinul. His lifetime output spanned so many genres that it would be hard to ever get bored .

    I first discovered Joe in the cut-out bin of my favorite record store in 1973. It was the first Weather Report album and it had a sticker stuck to it labeling it “the best jazz album of 1971” How it got into the cut-out bin is a mystery but I bought it figuring if it was the best album I’d better listen to it. I took it home and found it impenetrable but was at that point old enough to know i’d better give this a chance. I listened until i got it and from there on I was hooked. I then followed joe’s carreer going forward and backward, falling in love with Cannonball Adderly in the process. In 1983 i had the pleasure of seeing weather report perform live. my girfriend and i joined the cround at the stage front to “boogey” with the rest. watching joe i realized that he was eyeing each and everyone of us – making eye cotact — giving a wink or a smile then looking at the next fan.

    while much has been made of his more famous compositions such as birdland and mercy mercy mercy (which i do love) my favorite to this day is Badia. Just lovely.

    If I had to rate the importance of this artist I would put him in the Duke Ellington category. he is that important. His output as a composer, arranger and leader is hard to match.

    Joe we miss you and thank you for all you gave us. My heartfelt sympathies to your family.

    Kerkula in Baltimore

  61. Alek

    Very few people left so much joy and meaning to world like Joe. I am happy that I saw him and talked to him. We grew up listening to him, Jaco, Miles and finding out more about ourselves and what it means to be free. There is much to say, but … so long Man, hope to see you again.

    Alek Shekoyan
    Los Angeles

  62. carlos

    Hello there.

    It’s a sad week for the arts as we lost two great musicians, performers and
    human beings. Lucciano Pavarotti and Josef Zawinul…….. Just too much to
    handle. Each soooo unique.

    It’s high time to bid the word “HAVONA” (Heavy Weather), listen to the music
    and Read in The URANTIA BOOK What Havona means: The Center Of The Universe,
    Paradise, where all willing humans are bound to be in the very, very long

    That’s right, “Born into eternity, September 11th, 2007

    What a jam session going on in heaven: Cannonball, Miles, Joe, Jaco, Tony,

    Best to you and Joe’s sons.

    Carlos Ortega-Santos
    Caracas, Venezuela.

  63. robs

    Hello Curt,
    I am so sad to hear about the passing of Mr. Zawinul….I remember that when I was quite a bit younger his music inspired me so much that I drew a picture of him from his album Weather Report Mysterious Traveler.. ..I am not even an artist…but something just made me draw it and I have had it for over twenty years…I have enclosed it…it didn’t scan that well because it was done in pencil it is not a trace…you are welcome to use it on your site if you like.

    Sincerely, Rob Santoro

    A huge Jaco and Joe fan!

    Zawinul Drawing

  64. rjhlavac

    The sonic journeys Mr. Zawinul invited me to take since my discovery of his music have been shared by each of us that have visited this site, that I found on 9/11/2007. I told my kids of his passing and showed them pictures of him at the keyboards. On the weekend, the kids will have a chance to listen to musical pictures, portraits and limitless landscapes by him. As piano students, I trust that my daughters (9, 11), who practice on an electric piano (as it is all we have at the moment), will be invited by Joe to wander off the pages of their lesson books…

    RIP Mr. Zawinul and THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFT!!!


  65. Omtomramoa

    There was a headline on that read: Bitches Brew keyboardist dead! The hairs on my arms and neck literally stood on end and a feeling of dread came over me. ‘Please!! not Zawinul’ I thought – but it was and what horrible news to start a day with. It affected me all day and the sadness will be with me for a long time. Thank goodness – his music is well-documented and we will probably see more come out posthumously.

    I attended a Syndicate concert at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen in mid-July. Zawinul and the rest of the guys were in super-form and gave a sold-out concert that left the audience unwilling to leave. It was the 9th time I got to see that band play live – i can’t believe it will be the last time. I’m gonna miss Joe’s music so much. Thanks Joe and rest in peace.

  66. Paul Arthurs

    Joe has been my biggest inspiration as a musician and many people I play with. The world without him is hard to imagine and I can’t quite believe we’ll never get the experience of listening to him play that wonderful music live again.

    The evenings I have spent at his concerts have been some of the most wonderful evenings of my life and I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to thank him personally for everything he’s done.

    I feel very sad that he has gone, he was the greatest.

    Love to you Joe and thanks again for so much fantastic music.

  67. mikey

    Joe was one of my great musical heroes, and this is very sad news. I’m probably younger than most of those posting here – I only discovered Weather Report, as a teenager, when their days were already long past – but Joe’s music made a huge impression on me and still does. What an innovator, what a musician, what a composer! There weren’t many in the entire 20th century who changed music like he did.

    Condolences to his family, friends and fans. We’ve lost one of the truly great ones.

    Best regards,
    Mike, Australia

  68. Milko

    Dear Curt,

    My name is Milko Lazar, and I am a musician and composer from Slovenia – small European country next to Austria and Joe’s Vienna. I have no words to express my deep sadness. We lost one of the greatest human beings of our time. I would just like to explain a few facts, that may be interesting to You and to all Zawinul lovers.

    On the 3rd of August this year, I was at his last concert, in a small Austrian town Gussing. Before and after the concert, I was talking to the band members (Sabine, Allegre, Linley and others). We all knew, after seeing Joe in a wheelchair and in very bad condition, that he will not be long with us. He was unable to walk. The concert was something special. Joe’s playing was on a different level. It was clear in a special way. I had a feeling, that he was already in a different place at that time. After the concert, there was a lot of his old Austrian friends in the backstage, crying and taking care of him. I did not know that his Maxine was already gone at that time. I talked to Paco and Sabine and Aziz, they were all in tears, that we must all go on with the right things. I will never forget the very last moment, when his son Erich was taking him into the car after the concert, and all of us were saying goodbye to him. The next day, he was already in the hospital.

    I saw Joe about 20 times live on the concerts, with Weather Report, Syndicate or solo. First time with WR in 1980, when I was 15, in Zagreb (Croatia). It was a Night Passage tour. This concert turned my musical knowledge up side down. It is amazing, that he visited such a small country like Slovenia 10 times. He was two times in my small birth town Maribor, which makes me especially happy. Last time at the end of June this year, as a conductor of a Conse workshop. One of the first European Weather Report concerts was also in Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. He liked these middle and eastern European places a lot, being also many times in other ex-Yugoslave countries (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia).

    I know, that he also liked to play in small towns and villages around Italy and Austria, where I met him many times, bringing him a bottle of home made slivovitz, which he liked very much. Every time I spoke to him, I had a feeling that he was a very simple man, and that he would be able to take a shovel in his hands, right after a concert, and make some important work on the field. That kind of the person he was. Very nice and gentle, but also a bit aggressive, direct and without any compromises.

    I am coming from jazz, but in the last time I am mostly composing orchestral music. It is a very different music from Joe’s. But I must say, that his influence on my music is much bigger then from any other classical composer. To me, Joe was the greatest orchestrator. The point is not in the style, or anything else, more in the free spirit and direct approach. You have to say, what you have to say in a way, that people can understand you. And Joe was understood by most people. I know that he was underrated by many musicians. But that is because he was taking music to another much higher level than the music itself. That is, where the different spirits are joining together, and where everything is so natural. I am sure that for him, the music was only a media, to say something very important to the people.

    It is so nice, that so many different – non musical people, are listening and loving him. When you saw him on the concert, you saw the master, not presenting you something, what is already made, but making the thing. His music is an endless workshop. Dear Curt, thank you for helping all of us with your informations and shearing all this beautiful toughts. I hope, you will continue to do this. You have all support from all of us.

    Long live to Joe and Maxine.

    Milko Lazar

  69. Samir

    We say “Le roi est mort…Vive le roi” , but there
    won’t have anymore king for many years…Zawinul was a
    genius like Monk , Davis, Coltrane etc… he had a
    great power inside him…Survive the WW2 … try his
    chance in USA to play Jazz… Like Miles Davis , he
    saw the future…

    Each year , I was waiting for his concert in Paris…I
    saw many many times since 1998…When I was
    discovering Jazz…I saw the evolution of his music
    for 10 years…The last period…His music was synonymous
    of happiness , hope , open mind … Africa , west
    Indies , America , Asia …

    He doesn’t deserve to die so young ( today 75 is
    young) , it’s why I’m so sad and so surprised ( a
    strong man ???? ) but disease can kill the best…

    Forever in his message will live in my
    behaviour…”Respect of differences”.

    Samir from Paris.

  70. manolya

    I am very sad that my favourite jazz musician has died. Fortunately I have seen him a couple of times. When he entered the stage tears came to my eyes, he was such a special person who somehow (I cannot explain) touched a special place in me.

    I like the way he did ‘strange’ things on the keyboard, his ‘weird’ sounds and joke-like things during a concert. His drive and energy; so free and expressive! The softness combined with intelligence and inspiration in his eyes was beautiful! And his curiousity for new sounds and music from other cultures…

    Dear Joe, may your beautiful soul rest in peace!

  71. Puffin

    I join you all in celebrating a great artistic life. I wrote the major paper for my Master’s degree in musicology on Weather Report, but what I learned from Joe is expressed simply: he taught me how to be a happy person.

    Aside from being the author of this beautiful music we all feel in our hearts, Joe was a wonderful human being.

    I believe he cared for his audience as much as his music. Of the five performances I attended, I remember particularly the day I was able to sit close to the stage at Roy Thompson Hall, an ugly modern classical music hall here in Toronto, and watch how he worked with the band and the listeners. After getting the show going in the first tune, he stopped playing and stood beside his instruments watching the band for maybe 30 seconds, checking them out, I guess to make sure everyone was in tune and in time. Later I noticed that he was focusing on a group in the front row, especially on one woman – looking intently at her as he played. She was wiggling about in her seat, about as demonstrative as a Canadian is likely to get in the front row at Roy Thompson Hall (with all the lights on, imagine!). I saw him catch her eye, and he winked at her, a very friendly gesture. Later, he waved to her, exhorting her to get up and dance, which she clearly wanted to do, but for some reason didn’t. He pulled his chin back and gave her a chiding look, like a father who knows his child wants to do something but is too shy to do it. At the end of the show, he went to the front of the stage and shook hands with the these folks. It was a touching sequence, and evidence to me that his motive was to share his joy and vitality with his audience, to reach into them and help bring their life to light, to reawaken the energy that started it all and which we tend to forget through the trials of existence.

    As we all know, he DID communicate that central joy of life. I had a friend years ago to whom I introduced several sophisticated musicians, usually to her total bafflement. I took her to see Joe, and within 30 seconds she turned to me and said: “This is GOOD!”

    As for music, I remember the fire he set under Scott Henderson at the Montreal Jazz festival, and his solo feature on the pepe, which spoke directly to my heart in a time of personal pain. I remember the greatest bass player never to play the bass. I remember “Second Sunday in August,” which helped me understand that hard work can be a joy. I remember the solo on Wayne’s “Plaza Real,” which contains the formula for success in this world.

    I wept at the news, and I weep now, but I also feel this was a good death. When Jaco passed I was shocked and depressed at the terrible fracturing of a creative life. Today I feel that a wonderful story has ended, and that this valuable and cherished life is complete and will now resonate throughout history, as the lives of all master artists do. I was also touched to learn that Maxine had recently passed – it is one of those strange truths that great couples often leave together, within short periods of time. Perhaps this suggests that the story still goes on.

    I know that whenever I saw Joe play, the God responsible for music was always present, because there was simply no other place to be.

    Thanks for the wonderful website, and condolences to the Zawinul children, who have obviously suffered the greatest loss of all.


  72. Borja Girl

    Maxine and Joe were great people to me growing up. I will cherish the memories. I send my best to Anthony, Erich and Ivan and their respective families.

  73. bongodirt

    I listen to Zawinul every week. His music for some reason really hits me. Papa was a great composer and player, all of you know of his rich talent and contributions he gave us. Miles Davis owes him big time. God, here we go, starting to loose our best..nothing but retreads out there now, there’s been no balls in Jazz for a long time, bunch of pussys playing the same old same old. Jeezz I’m mad. Papa was 75 so that’s about as long as we have on this blue ball. Bill Walsh, Zawinul both had the best Med. that money could buy and they are gone now.

    I’m going to see the Sons this Sat. and dance, I’m going to write more tunes, I’m going to play my Drums, I’m going to Love my wife and kids, I’m going to hike the hills, I’m going to breath deep, I’m going to Love life, I’m going to listen to Papa because his music lets me do all of these things better. I’m in the hills, I’m in Love, I’m with my Parents, I’m with my friends when I hear Zawinul play.
    Joe was bad to the bone. Go and give Papa a listen.

  74. chrisw

    A crying shame that he has gone. But what a great legacy of music he has left.
    (Maybe he’s jamming with Jaco and Miles right now?)


  75. andrew

    A friend texted me to say that joe had died today, I hadn’t even heard that it had been the 11th, but its hit me really hard. I first heard weather report when I was about 17 (i’m 43 now) I had just started getting into a whole load of fusion bands like mahavishu, bruford, brand x, stanley clarke etc but weather report really blew me away and still do….. I managed to see the Zawinul syndicate a couple of years ago in Poole, Dorset , where I live… the band was staggering and zawinul awesome…..what can I say, I never met the man, but I feel like I’ve lost someone….fuck it, I love Joe Zawinul…..and its painful….

  76. MikeS

    It is the end of an era. Judging from certain reviews over the years not everyone got Joe’s thing, but for those of us who did it inspired a lifelong passion.

    I’ve been lucky to see Weather Report six times, including three visits to the legendary Hammersmith Odeon, and I caught the Syndicate twelve times including all three visits to Ronnie Scott’s. I’ve travelled a few thousand miles to hear him live and I’m glad I did.

    Five years ago Joe was signing cd’s in the entrance of Ronnie’s, I told Joe how I’d loved his music for a long time and thanked him for everything he’d shared with me and shook his hand – he had a grip like a blacksmith. Joe replied “Well my friend , I’ve given you something, now you’ve given me something , so it keeps going round.” How gracious! I’m really glad I had the opportunity to tell him.

    In May 2004 Joe played Cheltenham Town Hall, which forms the fourth side of a Georgian square. After my friend parked his car we witnessed Joe, 72 years old, playing football (soccer) with his band and crew on the green at the back of the hall. I’ll never forget that scene as he directed Amit Chatterjee, gentle giant Linley Marthe etc, barely half his age. Two weeks later it’s 2am and my friend and I are hanging (as in tired), while Joe is standing in the middle of Ronnie Scott’s, beaming and looking fit to do it all over again.

    Last March at London’s Jazz Cafe and Joe was still in total control of a phenomenal band. I’m still in shock that such a vital force has gone. Whenever I saw Miles in the eighties it always felt like it could be the last time he came by, with Joe it was always like he could go on for ever.

    Thanks Joe for all the music full of love and life.

    Thank you Ivan for twenty years of great sound.

    Thank you Curt for advance warning of so many wonderful gigs.

    My warmest regards to Anthony, Eric, and Ivan for the loss of both their mother and father.

    Mike Sheppard

  77. cmason63

    As a member of the Senior production staff for the IAJE Conferences, I had the good fortune and luck to be the person tabbed to pick him up from his Malibu beach house and bring him to the 2002 Conference in Long Beach, CA.

    I arrived there in the limo they provided – he was the recipient of the International Jazz Festival Organization Lifetime Award, presented at the Conference – and the driver had to wait a while. Joe was wonderfully gracious and invited me into his house, showed me his new private recording studio (boy did I salivate), hung out a bit, and then we slammed shots of Slivovitz all the way back to Long Beach. I was useless when I got back.

    That night, the WDR Big Band played Vince Mendoza arrangements of Joe’s tunes, with Peter Erskine, Omar Hakim, Scott Kinsey, and Alex Acuna as the rhythm section. That’s a day and night I’ll never forget.

    Thanks for everything you gave to us, Joe.

  78. David B

    I am still stunned by the news – though from Curt’s postings I had a sad feeling Joe’s time was close. And now I reflect: since a night in August 1972, when the beauty of Joe’s chords and spacing on the Rhodes (behind Wayne) on “Waterfall” … snuck up and floored me – that everyday I have thought about his music and his approach to life. Over the years his compositions took me backwards and forward in time simultaneously, with futuristic textures, tribal rhythm layerings and sparse but rich melodies. And what a message the music delivered – Be brave … and recognize your own spirit and creativity! What a mentor (!), though I never met the man.

    I am so grateful we have the internet now to share our appreciation of this man, and so many thanks to Curt for his tasteful / informative work in building and maintaining this site for us.

    David B.
    Kelowna B.C.

  79. fingerpickengood

    My background is a guitar player, listening to McLauglin DiMeola and of course WP, in my opinion Joe is one of the most important musicians of the past 50 years and certainly of the 20th Century, personally this news is very sad for me.

    I would not be the person or musician I am today without the likes of Joe and Jaco and Miles. The main lesson I have learned through their music is that to be a great musician requires synchronicity of the mind, the heart and the spirit (not that I make any claims to having mastered this but this has guided me me on my musical journey).

    When masters such as Joe, Jaco and Miles pass it really does bring home that time is finite and that we should all concentrate on the important things in life and explore our talent to the best of our ability, time is short.

    What a band Joe, Miles, Jaco, Tony Williams and to really mix things up may be Django and /or Jimi what do you think?

    Lets hope heaven has the marshalls permanently set at 11


  80. Sharpshooter

    Joe Zawinul

    Towering legend of Jazz. Put together in Weather Report one of the finest bands ever. Fact. End of.


  81. arnepe

    One of the greatest and most important musicians in the history of music has left us.
    What a loss.
    What we still have is his music and that will never die.

    Now he is up there jamming with Jaco, Miles, Louis, Duke, Bird, Trane and all the other great ones.

    Thank you for everything.
    You will never be forgotten

    Arne Petter Ugelvik

  82. tiny_tim

    A giant has left us in body, but those of us he touched are here to witness to this great innovator and life force.

    Thank you Joe for all the years I have seen you live and just been transported to that soul space, either with WR or the Syndicate. It was my upmost joy to introduce my daughter to your music with the Syndicate, and all three times she saw you live in Europe she was so immersed in joy. Even my wife seeing you in Geneva this past March for the first time she understood why I just lived for your music.

    We have been given a wonderful gift to have had you these particular 75 years on this planet. We are so fortunate and grateful for this.

  83. jagtar

    joe was the most important person musically for this dark age,joe’s music lifted my soul like that of an angel sent from our dear lord.thank you for the will live forever and i will miss you deeply.x.

  84. Peter Maz

    I’ve just heard about Joe Zawinul’s passing. I had the great fortune to see Weather Report live in 1982 at both the Hammersmith Odeon, and Manchester Apollo Theatres. During the 1980’s their music changed my life. I also was fortunate enough to meet the band prior to the Manchester gig – it is something i will never forget, and as an excited 20 year old will stay with me forever. Live, Weather Report were awesome, and unsurpassable then and now. As one American attendee rightly stated, the experience was’ totally organic’ – and one of the best live musical experiences I’ve ever personally witnessed.

    Joe Zawinul was a giant in the jazz world – and he leaves a huge legacy. A sad day for jazz indeed.

    With gratitude and respect,

    Peter Maz (UK).

  85. Jorge

    Joe: tu arte ha hecho mas hermosa nuestra permanencia en este mundo. Adios queridísimo hermano musical.
    Jorge Salúm

  86. kelly

    Hearing the news of Joe’s passing three of four days after the event i realized how drawn into my own mental entrapments i had become and once again how Zawinul’s music always reminded me to live in the moment as i would always seem to do each time i heard his waltz of dreams and blessings over any speaker system. Buying the first vinyl in my music collection with Zawinul’s name and face on the cover was the essential live Jazz lp called Operation Bread Basket by Cannonball Adderley in the late sixties. Who was this face looking so intently and with such purpose staring straight at Cannonball on this album cover? All i need do is take the plastic cover off the lp drop the disk and sit back and listen. Mercy Mercy Mercy knocked me out but listening to the opening of Rhodes piano chords to Country Preacher was like listening to a musical sermon of the mount.

    Living in Hawaii in the 70’s brought me face to face with the first Weather Report live concert at the University of Hawaii campus. It was then that my life with music was changed forever. I was to search and encounter this music back in Los Angeles as Weather Report blazed a comet trail across music’s horizon. A chance meeting in a recreation room of a small North Hollywood apartment complex had me face to face over a friendly pool table 8 ball game with Jaco Pastorius who was the new kid in the band relaxing between Hollywood Bowl shows. Again the serge of anticipation was almost too much to bare as I took my seat that night under the stars and was transported out of my body by what Zawinul and his band offered the masses. It was now my self appointed duty to speak the name Weather Report to any and all that i encountered from here on. To that end i can say that many friends were made and engaging conversations were had with total strangers over Zawinul’s musical blessings.

    Jobs in the music industry soon followed and working for Burt Superman on Midnight Special Weather Report was at its Zenith performing just feet in front of me as i again was blown away and wondered if everyone there was receiving the same blessing i was getting through this music. What ever it took i was determined to witness this musicial phenomenon at any chance i got. Good fortune was mine on several other occasions and concerts over the years. It is not enough to just say that Joe Zawinul was merely a great musician. We who encountered this sound were collectively changed by what we all heard. Feelings all across the range human emotions were served through this vessel that was Joe Zawinul, that no one can deny.

    I dreamed recently that some how where ever there was war and strive hatred and evil over the earth that for just a moment all that would hear Joe Zawinul’s solo on lets say for instance ” A remark you made” played over there heads. They all looked up and for that time had no desire to fire a shot or do any harm to any one or any thing. And just at that moment the sky opened up and the stars danced and swirled to the texture of Joe Zawinul’s music. Dear God let us all continue to dream. I know Joe did.

  87. Annemie


    Thanks you for this fantastic website. I always take info on it for Zawinul concerts in Europe .

    Joe was my favorite Jazz musician for more than 35 years> I travelled all over Europe for his concerts also for the opening week of the birdland club in Vienna I enjoy a lot.

    For me Joe was papa music, in his improvisations he sounded like my father he was also a jazz piano player and a great fan of Django Reinhardt and Duke Ellington. It’s a huge missing not hearing him anymore life.

    Joe was an unique person he was content with his life and his wonderful gift and he enjoy this fantastic gift he could share with us.

    Still in shock that Joe passed away. When a heard he was in hospital in August I couldn’t speak anymore, my voice was gone for 2 days and I sent him a bouquet of sunflowers with good recovery wishes.

    At the concert in Zoetermeer in spring of this year I saw that Joe lost a lot of weight and he was tired. I asked his agent Risa if he was ill… she answered no,no, Joe is a strong man.

    I think the most of joe’s fans thought he was a physical giant. He was doing boxing and drinking slymovitz as medicine and become 200 years…

    In Rotterdam he gave a great concert. After I booked for Paris, the news came that Joe was hospitalized and the concert was cancelled.

    Now for the last time I am packing my suitcase to go to Joe Zawinull. I go to Vienna to Joe’s funeral ceremony where Zawinul music plays a great role in, on 25 September at Zentralfriedhof.

    Thank you Joe for all the worderful fantastic music and joy. You will always be in our hearts and live there forever.


  88. nvoyvodich

    Joe’s music has had a huge impact on my life for decades. Having seen him live with Weather Report and after as a solo act his passion for producing intense, multi layered, world music is unequaled.

    I saw Joe this year in Santa Cruz and I sat physically feet away from him by the stage. Watching him play and seeing the joy in his face as he conducted in unbelievable band is one of my music highlights.

    I will miss his genius very much but we will always have his music.

  89. Scott

    I was driving home from my band’s gig in San Diego tonight (9/17/07)… my iPod on song-shuffle. At the darkest part of the trek on the 5 fwy back up to Huntington Beach, a live cut from Weather Report’s “8:30” LP come up… it’s the tune “In A Silent Way”. For anyone that’s ever listened to that track it’s one of the most amazing examples of spirit and emotion in the music. The interplay between Joe’s synth chords and Wayne’s melody (Shorter) is so amazing.

    Then I get home tonight and through a picture on Jaco Pastorius’ “My Space” page I learn that Joe Zawinul passed away on Sept 11th. Joe & Wayne created probably the most sought after and copied jazz fusion super group ever to grace the face of this planet. I still listen to Weather Report albums at least once or twice a week. Joe, Wayne, Jaco (Pastorius), Peter (Erskine)… all the different players that had a stint in Weather Report… all students of master musicians… Joe Zawinul & Wayne Shorter. Joe now joins the premier bassist Jaco Pastorius on that spiritual plane… the next level.

    Not too long ago another great left us… tenor saxophonist, Michael Brecker. These are some of the greatest voices of modern Jazz. They are all one of a kind. To this day and for many years to come… there will be an abyss in the modern jazz community.

    Joe Zawinul is gone. His music will live on forever, inspiring us all… showing us the limitless boundaries of musical creativity. Tears came to my eyes because for some reason his music was so much larger than life. I almost thought he was immortal. They don’t make talent like Joe’s much anymore.

    Well Joe… you are immortal. I’m still listening to your music and will do so till the day I die.

    I love you man… Scott Carter (guitarist)

  90. gesta

    I have often wondered how it would feel if I had seen Miles live in the summer of 91. Now I know. Last year in Rotterdam, after an amazing concert (and a gift to all of us who were too young to catch WR live), I made one wish, to see him next year too. And I did and I thought he would play forever, he certainly seemed capable of that. What a sad, cruel summer. And yet. I will never forget the smile on his musicians faces every time they were looking at him, the smile and the pride in his face after their solos, how he was at the same time their leader and their first fan. I’m sorry I never managed to see him live at his home, in Vienna, it must have been special. But Joe was special, and his live performances were special, as is his music. I couldn’t listen to Weather Report on the night after his death, it’s such a joyous music and I was so saddened. But I’m not so sad anymore. He’s together with Maxine now (what a cruel and ugly July it must have been for him) and we will always be blessed by his music and his memory. I will never forget his “belles mustaches” (as one obituary here in Belgium put it), his smiling eyes and the colours on his hat and in his music. Thank you Joe for everything. The summers in Rotterdam won’t be the same without you.

  91. pvs

    A friend of me called to tell one of my heroes died. I still feel sad when I recall this moment. The message Joe died created tears in my eyes.

    I have seen Joe so many times; first with Weather Report and later on with Weather Update and Zawinul’s Syndicate. Sometimes I thought: ‘Well, now I think I know his music, wouldn’t it be boring to see and hear him again after so many times??’ No way – he always knew how to surprise with his complex world music. It made me smile a big smile on my face. It was not possible to stand still on his great rhythms.

    Deep admiration how this ‘old’ man could keep on finding new young musicians and playing his music loaded with energy. I compared people of his age waiting for their death in houses for elderly people.

    I am happy I saw him with the WDR Big Band at North Sea Jazz. My intention to once go to Birdland in Vienna to see Joe play in his own club is now gone.

    North Sea Jazz without Joe won’t be the same anymore. I will miss him incredibly.


    Peter van Soest
    The Hague
    The Netherlands

  92. arnie

    I’m deeply saddened by Joe’s passing. What an empty space there is now. Although in my 50’s Joe was, and will continue to be my hero. I’ve been lucky to see him some 20 times over the last 30 years. No one hit the spot like you, maestro. A WR, Syndicate concert, and indeed his duo work with Trilok Gurtu was always something to be cherished. Joe’s grooves, chords, fantastic written pieces and improvisational skills, I believe put him in the genius category. We have lost a truly great musician. My heartfelt condolences go to his three boys and their families having lost both their mum and dad so quickly. God Bless. Arnie

  93. drumdik

    In tears I was when the sad news reached me.
    Joe has always been my great role model.
    I owe him a lot, he inspired me. To me he showed respect for ethnic music and he saw the great influence of this cultural richness in the world.
    I thank him for being who he was, a great composer and a fantastic musician, they only come once in a life time and I am grateful to have known him.
    Once , after a concert I went to shake his hand, but all I could say was: “I love you man,” which I really meant of course, but now I wished I had told him what he really meant to me, which would of course have taken too much of his time an I felt so humble next to him.
    He will always continue to be my musical bigger brother and he will always live on through his wonderful music. Unforgettable Joe, Weather Report, Syndicate, whatever, all sessions great. Thanks.

  94. yamo

    le plus brillante des étoiles de mon ciel musical…
    il dégageait de sa musique tellement de bonheur, d’énergie, de sensibilité, de générosité, sa créativité était intarissable, tellement fluide et infinie!
    il est parti trop tôt, il va nous manquer.
    d’alger et chaque jour un peu plus triste, yamo.

  95. deezbar

    A Salute To You Sir Joe! One Of The True ‘Elegant People’. you will so be missed and thank god for the music that you you have left us all.An absolute true pioneer and most human sounding keyboard player ever! bet you’re up there already jamming with Jaco and Miles. A true inspiration for all musicians.
    our hearts go out to out to the Zawinul family.
    We miss you already Joe..d..x

  96. Zawinulsounds

    An AP article stated ‘ ORF later reported that “there is no mortal danger” to Zawinul. ‘. The point of our existance is how we are recognized by our actions. A few of us get beyond our own satisfactions. Josef Zawinul shared his amazing thoughts with us. I can’t begin to describe the many notes that fit so easily… there is no other that I can audibly recognize with just one single well placed chord. To be ‘Free inside of yourself’ is the way for Zawinul and all of us. Mr. Zawinul is in no danger of ever going away – I carry his notes at all times and I’m sure others do to.

    I am very greatfull to have been in the same time slot. All my words are overshadowed by ‘In a Silent way’…

  97. nail

    A few words about one of the most remarkable musicians ever…

    What can I even say? Joe influenced me even more than I realize. What an extraordinary musical mind. I was heartbroken. I heard about his wife as well. My heart goes out to his family. I’ve been walking around in a daze for about a week, going to work, but just not there… Reading everything, every article posted, every interview, watching every video I can watch. There is this emptiness. Damn.
    I last saw them at the Blue Note NY in 2005. The band cooked – I mean cooked! – for 2 hours straight. After the show I felt as if I had been on vacation for a month; you can’t describe that feeling. I tried to see him in the dressing room after their set. He looked at me – that “you better have something good to say” look, and I chickened out! I never saw them again. I guess I always thought I have another chance. I wouldn’t have known what to say to him anyway, expect thanks.

    I do have some great memories…seeing WR in 1978 – the 8:30 tour. Oh jeez. Unreal. That bit at the end, after Badia/Boogie Woogie Waltz medly, where the lights go out and the train comes through…the lights come up and they’re gone. That made a hell of an impression on me.

    WR again, in NYC. Domino theory tour. Zawinul played this…it looked like a typewriter with strings. Does anyone even know what this is? You can hear it at the end of “When it Was Now” off of the 2nd WR disc.
    Zawinul shouting at Peter Erskine during a “Weather Update” show in NYC. Hey!
    The Eureka moment came for me at NAMM 1996. I was demo-ing a midi wireless unit for a small company called Aquila. In between playing I was running around… and suddenly here was the Syndicate, jamming in this room. I went up and sat as close to him as I could get, and set to studying, observing. They were playing an almost unrecognizable version of “Scarlet Woman”… Something was weird: what I heard did not match what I saw his hands doing! I watched so closely. What the f**k?? That’s when I realized – this man is in a league of his own; he has no equal. I decided to learn everything about his technique that I could. His synth playing is like some kind of secret; I tried to recreate his sounds, and learned some amazing things in the process.

    Then there’s the little story from Keyboard Mag a few years back – Joe showed up for a gig but his gear didn’t. He started to play – and sounded….exactly like Joe. Like Bill Evans making a small upright sound like a concert grand. It’s the MAN, not the machine.

    His influence on me as a composer, a musician, a bandleader, a synthesist and programmer, is extraordinarily profound, beyond measure. I remember the first time I inverted the keyboard on one of my synths, and figured out how to play the melody from Black Market. Wow. I learned everything I could from listening to his sounds, his concepts – both musically and technically. We have lost one of the great masters – the great innovators – of jazz. What negativity he endured from the jazz community for embracing electronics. People still don’t realize how far ahead this man was. Man, he was something else.. RIP Joe – “I’ll Never Forget You”…

    The NAIL, NY

  98. rooftops

    When Joe was staying at vienna, the city had a different sound. Since 2004 we had the heaven on earth.

    Thank You to Joe
    A. Liling

  99. bogdank

    My deepest sympathies to Joe’s family.

    I was always inspired by Joe’s music. I first heard about him when I listened to Miles Davis. Later I had an opportunity to see him live with Jaco and Wayne. I’ve seen him a few times solo and most recently with the Syndicate in 2006.

    Every single time he would bring a smile to my face and would make me forget the daily problems. He would pass his energy and joy of playing wonderful music to everyone around him.

    Thank you Joe!

    Forever and Ever!

    Washington, DC

  100. santiago

    hola joe ,me compré un sombrero para quitarmelo ante ud hace 34 años.Oigo su
    musica siempre,Ud no ha muerto,siempre vive y está conmigo.

  101. DavidH

    Joe Zawinul was the loftiest type of musician. He was able to bridge borders and made hitherto unknown or unexpected connections. For all of us he left a legacy of music to make us laugh, or introspective, or all out dance. Like Louis Armstrong, there was something about his work that made you smile inside.

    Among the many highlights of his work In A Silent Way stands out. It is a composition so good even Miles was jealous to put Zawinul’s name on the record!

    Soon after hearing the news of his death, I heard the old Weatehr Report tune, Cucumber Slumber, on the radio–I love the funky, understated solo he does on this. It brought tears.

    Thank you, Joe Zawinul for your work and many gifts and inspiration.

  102. Elaine

    This man’s music. What can anyone say? I loved his sound more than any music that I have ever heard. The first time that I ever saw him was at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, Cal. In 1978. Can I say that it changed my life right then and there. I actually thought that I would leave the planet that day and go somewhere wonderful in the universe. I was fortunate to meet him on several occasions and expressed to him my complete wonder at his music. He seemed to leave this world behind him when he played and I journeyed with him on those occasions that I was able to see him in person. His music changed my life and made me open my eyes to the possibility of life.

    The last time that I had the opportunity to see him was at Yoshi’s In Oakland, Calif. It was the night of Princess Diana’s death and he asked me to join him for a drink. He said to me I know you get it and was he ever right. Each time that I heard him play I always traveled away from this earth and its mediocre existence to someplace that was wonderful. I thank you Joe for each and every moment of joy that you have given me in this life with your amazing talent and your autographed photo from the SF Chronicle proudly hangs in my home. I will forever hold your music close and will be joyous to see you on the other side.

  103. jose

    I’ve just heard about Joe’s death. It’s like an uncle´s death, so used I was to his approach, and his company since I heard him on Miles records at the end of the sixties.

    So, what to say? Nothin’, just that I’ll miss his drumming on the keyboards, feeling the precise moment to hit …

    José from Chile

  104. maxxjdh

    Dear Joe-

    I cannot add to the accolades, but I must submit my tribute. Others will testify, your music and style are peerless and cannot be compared to any of the best. Your music has been in my life from a very young age, and will be carried in my soul forever. You always had that little part of me that no one else came close to. You helped me through difficult times even though you never knew. Thank you for your inspiration, and some day I may be able to thank you in person. Jim H. Mpls MN

  105. Fahlen

    Dear Joe,

    You’ve uplifted me with more musical rejoice than any other contemporary musician I can memorize. You’ve injected more youthfulness into my life than most people being only half or less your age. You’ve set a mark of your own by, for example, bringing the beautiful poem by Erich Fried on record (World Tour). You are and will continue to be among my most influential mentors in life, though we never met.

    Thank you for sharing you musical gems and human curiosity on people and places with us.

    Anders Fahlén

  106. Krisjan

    I feel lucky to have known the music of Zawinul for over the last 30
    years. This summer I was at his concert in Copenhagen so it came as a
    shock to hear that he was in hospital a month later. In 2002 I was lucky
    to meet him after the concert with Zawinul Syndicate and had the
    opportunity to thank him for all the joy he had brought to my life. His
    sound and joy will remain and his good vibes.

    Thank you Joe,

    Kristjan Valsson

  107. romainv

    Found out about his death too late. I remember the time I discovered Weather Report age 17. The music was simply not of this earth, pure magic. More then 20 years later my feelings about the music stay the same. Joe Zawinul was one of the foremost composers of the 20th century no doubt.

  108. Midiace

    I had heard he liked prune snapps and I had ordered some across the street from YOSHI’S. Well, I went to buy it for him and he had already bought the case and said sit down and have some. I asked if he would sign a pic taken at the Keyboard mag event. He said where is mine. I came back and he signed it. He then said he had a problem with his OBxpander. I said it might need a new battery. So then began the friendship of someone who gave me so much. See ya soon Joe


  109. theprince65

    I just found out yesterday.
    I met Joe years ago and I remember he was a very good man.
    When I found it out I suddenly felt that a part of me passed away because Joe has always been part of my life.
    His music permeated the texture of my existence and because of this I thought of him as a constant in life that will never go away.
    Music today sounds like this also because of him and there will never be precise words to describe his worth.
    I grew up listening to Jazz in a family where my dad felt the missing spot caused by the departure of Bird, John Coltrane and Dizzy and after Miles was gone I began to understand this.
    Like Miles, Joe will always be in my thoughts because it’s the least I can do for what he gave me along the years.
    I give my condolences to his family who I never had the pleasure to meet.
    I want to tell Joe’s family that they will never be alone in remembering him.
    I think that in a few weeks Joe will organize a gig in Heaven with Miles and Jaco.
    So long Joe!
    Giovanni Principe

  110. bugsy_pal

    I am very saddened to hear of Joe’s passing. I came to know of Weather Report through an Australian band, Ayers Rock, who did a cover of Boogie Woogie Waltz – in concert they always announced – “here’s a song by a great band, Weather Report”. From there it was a great procees of discovery for me… Joe’s music affected me deeply as a young teenager, through the revelations of Mysterious Traveller and Tail Spinnin’, followed by Black Market.

    I had the pleasure of seeing Weather Report in Australia in 1978, and the Zawinul Syndicate just a few years ago.

    Ellington was a somewhat late discovery for me. As I explored his music, I would listen to classic arrangements, and think, “My gosh, that sounds like Weather Report!”.

    Nothing can replace the unique signature of Zawinul’s music. It will stand the test of time.

  111. tisaryan

    It has been almost 2 weeks since Joe Zawinul passed away and a have been watching Zawinul’s videos on YouTube almost every day since then.

    I am Armenian now residing in California, USA. I am 36 years old. I started listening and admiring Jazz when I was 16 (thanks to my older brother Ashot). We were having hard time finding Jazz records back in a Soviet country then. But my brother Ashot would always find and bring great Jazz albums home for us to listen. Indeed, Weather Report was one of my favorites along with Miles Davis and many other greats.

    One of the most joyful and happy days of my life was when I went to see Zawinul performing with his Syndicate in Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles.

    My wife was busy with her work and could not join me. When I came back from the concert, I said to her: “You have to see and hear it live, or I’ll feel guilty the rest of my life.” We went back to the club next evening. We were screaming and yelling in 10 minutes after the band started playing. His music moved me and my wife to tears. Such a joy! We have our photo with him framed on the wall. We are happier now having connected live with Zawinul’s music and self that day.

    Thank you Joe! People like you make this world a better place to live and will save it for our kids.

  112. Anthony

    It’s taken me some time to deal with this loss. I’m trying very hard not to break down and cry. I didn’t know him personally but I grew up listening to his music when I was a kid listening to ‘Mercy Mercy, Mercy’ then with Miles and Weather Report, Weather Update, and the Zawinul Syndicate. I went to every show that I could go to and I was never disappointed. I will soon be 50 years old and in 30 years plus on this earth I have been blessed to have listened to his musical creations. He had this incredible joy and energy. Once when the Zawinul Syndicate played in Tallahassee, FL USA, Cannonball Adderley’s father was in the audience and Zawinul kept calling out “THIS FOR YOU POPS!” and played his tail off. My heart goes out to the Zawinul family and to his fans world wide.

    Thanks for having this site and allowing Joe’s fans to post their feelings.

    Anthony Key

  113. Thekouderwunz

    I have to say that I am completely heartbroken to see a musician I have admired for so many years pass away. I never got to see Josef perform, and I would have loved to have taken my wife to see his band.

    My condolences to the Zawinul family and to the Syndicate/Weather Report fans out there. May the gift that this genius left for us live on forever.

    Charles “Thekouderwunz” Alvarez

  114. Gwazoo49

    I saw Joe’s obit in the Chicago Tribune and was greatly surprised and saddened. I showed it to some young people at work and explained his importance and got blank stares back. I first saw Weather Report by accident. As a teenager I had tickets for Miles Davis in Chicago circa 1974 who canceled due to his fall of a stage. We arrived at the auditorium, not aware of the accident, to WR replacing Miles. They totally blew me away and Joe’s music has been apart of my life ever since. I was fortunate to see them again in Washington DC, the 8:30 tour but never had the chance to see Joe post WR.

    Although I have never stopped listening to WR my interest in his more recent music was renewed with the release of Brown Street which captured live energy and wonderful arrangements of music I truly love. This is proof of his musical genius. The ability to take another look from a different perspective and still keep the listener interested as if it was totally new; but not losing the creativity and beauty of the original music.

    Thanks Joe,


  115. Mark

    I got Heavy Weather well over a decade ago – wow what an inspiration! I am just beginning to appreciate Joe Zawinul more and more through the tomorrow box set and other WR records and other work : eg. also love the ZS stuff. The portrait of JZ book is so illuminating too.

    As a bass player myself, who loves Jaco, Stanley, Mark King & Patitucci, Marcus etc & Miles too, I love what Wayne & Joe did too so much in the contact of Jazz/funk/call it what you will.

    Zawinul’s straight commonsense talking and thoughts and his rightful pride in his ability coupled with his modesty / lack of grandeur are powerful and impressive.

    I mourn his passing and am grateful for the music he created and shared! How incredibly tasteful, masterful and clever/simple/complex/appropriate/original his playing and composing was!

    I regret not meeting / seeing him live.


    Mark Wibberley, England.

  116. robinson456

    i heard him for the first time last night and was amazed by the man.he touched me with his music and words….
    what a sad lost for music around the world….

  117. sparklet70

    I cannot express the utter sadness I feel at the news of Joe’s passing. It has come as a complete shock as I was was only watching a terrific program aboit him on BBC4 (UK) last night (28/09). I have been an ardent fan of his work since the early 70s when I had the privilege of seeing him perform in the UK with Weather Report. I was planning to see him again in London. The tears are still flowing but thank you Joe for the many years of great enjoyment you gave me from your music. It will live on. My deepest sympathies to his family on the loss of Joe and Maxine. Yet another star to shine in the heavens with all the other GREATS. May the angels lead you to paradise, RIP. Yvonne

  118. michael kranzler

    Fantastic tear jerking emotional ride this radio show was (on KALW from Bizerkely, CA)!!! What an informative treasure you 3 did and a fitting tribute. Sure wish the whole program would be available to keep, share and re-listen to, especially as I only tuned in (via internet radio) to that last 45 minutes of it! You played many of my favorites! Reminds me to go out and re purchase some of the older discs of the most exciting music of this era! Amazing that he was still putting out exquisite recordings at his age! No doubt and hopefully, perhaps via his sons, there will be some more post humorously un-released material live or otherwise to feed all our reverent appetites for this, as Trilok called it, Crazy Saint!

    Being an admirer, aquaintance and supporter of Dori Stein, I was also present at a Yoshi concert of J.Z. a few years ago that he M.C.ed, although he didn’t come to this side of the planet that I know of. Once Bobby Thomas Jr. came through Sri Lanka while I lived there (playing with Herbie Mann’s group) and he told me how tough it was being in and working with Weather Report, especially how Joe would have them all rehearsing and vigorously playing 8 hours a day, being very strict about being clear and substance free. Only he was allowed his shot of Cogniac or Shnapps before going on stage…

    Looking forward to hearing back from y’all and staying in touch!

    His music will easily thrill and thankfully outlast us all, May He Reach Nirvana (as they say here) and rest in peace…

    michael kranzler

  119. MikeB

    I met Joe at Ronnies several years ago. He was walking up the stairs and I was walking down the stairs. He stopped as I thanked him for the pleasure he had brought me over the years and he responded by saying that it was he that should thank me for supporting him. I cried with emotion then as I cry now finding out that the great man has passed away. Thank you Joe.

  120. Jon

    I have loved Joe’s music since I was 12 or 13 years old when he did “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and “74 Miles Away” with Cannonball Adderley. Oh and you can’t forget “Country Preacher.” This is one cool cat I thought. Although I was listing to all the new rock music like Jimi Hendrix and the Cream, I still loved Jazz and was very eager to follow what Joe was doing. Then came Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew, which blew everybody’s mind. When Weather Report came out it, they evolved into a completely new style of music, funky, dark, uplifting, transcending. I didn’t see them live until, I think it was 1974 in Santa Cruz. I was and have been very much influenced by his playing and have collected everything he and Wayne has done. Without them in my life it would have been very different, and not nearly as fulfilling. He was a great man and a great musician, and will miss him very much, I am so grateful for his contributions.
    RIP Love, Jon

  121. Jeffrey

    Although saddened from your passing, I know you’re better off & with loved ones. I did have the opportunity to see you twice, once with Weather Report around the time of Heavy Weather in Boston Ma, and also with the Zawinul Syndicate in Saratoga Springs NY in 2003. To me you are the best storyteller around bar-none, how do I feel, listen to track 3 from This Is This. Enjoy the your new beginning, my deepest condolences to the Zawinul family.
    Jeff Goddard
    Merrimack NH

  122. Amund99

    So sad …
    I was actually listening and viewing Jaco on Youtube and I came over a video from the Jaco’s Cemetry in Florida.
    Half an hour later I got the message that Joe has passed away.
    I ran into Joe and his Weather Report in 1976 and I was lucky to see them in Oslo 1978. Since then, it has only been Joe and Weather Report for me .
    Thanks for everything, Joe

  123. wgsxxx

    Joe along with Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius and all other members of Weather Report, changed my whole perception of what music could be. It was a delight to see a recent musical portrait on TV. It was the first time I had heard him speak, and it was wonderful to see that his enthusiasm for the music has not waned one iota. He was a pioneer, innovator and a true musical genius. You will be sadly missed Joe.

  124. manu

    Hello, i’m a keyboardist and i just wanted to say, as most of the people who wrote on this website, that Joe Zawinul is for me one of the greatest creative people i had the chance to meet in his music.
    Eternal Love Joe, sure we’ll meet again and again, i can’t stop to hear and love your music.
    We love you madly, me, my wife, and my two little daughters.

  125. marc

    Good bye Joe! You’re not in this world anymore, but we will share the feeling of
    eternal life with your music forever. Very much love to your family and friends.
    Marc, Toulouse France.

  126. Bill_Karayannis

    Joe I need to thank you about your excellent music. Your music will beat in my hard for ever. I wish you to have a good trip. Thank you again.

  127. enrico

    Mr. Zawinul …to me is simply Uncle Joe.
    i was a kid, now i’m a man, and i’m still listening to his music, everyday.
    I cried all day, just like a Family member.
    This is the Magic, Honest, Power of Wonderful Music

    thank you Joe for your wonderful passage on earth, God Bless You.

  128. SteveF

    October 16th 2007
    It is a month ago since I heard the news on the radio but I am still coming to terms with the sad and sudden loss of someone I never knew but whose music has been a part of my life since I was a teenager.

    I am one of the many people whose journey to become a professional musician began after seeing Joe play. I was 17 and it was an early Weather Report lineup at Ronnie Scott’s in London. That evening changed my life. It is in my mind’s eye still.
    I had heard him play on the Miles Davis records but the live impact of Zawinul, Shorter, Vitous, Gravatt and Romao was something else. I didn’t understand what the hell was going on, only that this was fantastic music and I wanted to aim for something with the same power, commitment, intensity, excitement and musicality. My friend clandestinely taped the concert and I played those tapes so much to try and figure out what was going on. It was the beginning of an education for me that continues.

    Also like many pianists struggling to find a way into the new electronic technology Joe was a revelation; he used the new sounds to make new music.

    I saw him play many times with various Weather Report and Syndicate line-ups, always memorable concerts, always something new to hear even on familiar tunes. I never lost the excitement and expectation of going to one of his concerts, they were always special events.

    He was an example and an inspiration to many and he has left us much fantastic music to accompany and enrich our lives.
    We are privileged to have been around to hear his music.

    I am sorry I was not able to thank him in person for what he meant to me. However, many did so he knew we were listening.
    What a tragedy for his sons to lose both parents in the space of a few months. I would like to add my condolences to them along with everyone else. They can be proud to have been part of a team that helped their Dad give so much joy and inspiration to so many during his life and beyond.

    Steve Franklin

  129. sashi

    i found out today the passing of joe zawinul, am truly saddened to tears.
    your music spoke true volumes. when i first listened to weather report many years ago you
    and your fellow musicians opened up a space in me that i never knew was there.

    i’m totaly lost for words that can sum how i feel.
    you will be in our hearts and thoughts joe
    thank you joe for your inspiration
    you will be dearly missed

    Sashi Pancholi


  130. oliasdoug

    For us residents of the USA, September 11th will now be a day for another cause for mourning.

    I hadn’t been paying all that much attention to the music scene recently (for various reasons), but that didn’t mean that I didn’t still listen to music voraciously as I always have. It wasn’t until I got a birthday card from my best college friend George Marshall on October 16th that I learned of Joe’s transition. I will always have George to thank for turning me on to Weather Report’s music…I can still remember as if it were yesterday that day he first played “Mysterious Traveller” for me, and how knocked out I was by “Nubian Sundance.” That was truly a life-changing moment for me, because to the best of my recollection, it was my introduction to what we later referred to as jazz fusion. From that day on, I was hooked on Weather Report.
    ….and especially Joe’s keyboard playing. All other members of WP had my respect for being the virtuosos that they were (especially Wayne, Jaco & Peter Erskine), but WP simply wouldn’t have BEEN WP without the presence of the inimitable Josef Zawinul. I have been a synthesizer fanatic since first being initiated into its music via Wendy Carlos and Keith Emerson, and hearing Joe’s utterly unique style of playing a few years later only cemented my love for this incredible musical instrument. Nobody played like Joe–NOBODY. I had the pleasure of seeing Weather Report 3 times at what I consider peak moments in their career–the Heavy Weather, Mr. Gone, and Procession tours. I will never forget the astonishment at seeing Joe’s live playing and his turning his keyboard setup into a UFO, just as I will never forget the joy at seeing Jaco’s amazing bass mastery as he did his little shuffling Jaco-dance across the stage.
    My life is richer because of Weather Report’s music, and (don’t hate me for this), I have not yet had the chance to hear the Zawinul Syndicate’s music. That, needless to say, is about to change. Joe: thank you for the many years of enjoyment you gave us through Weather Report, and a BIG thank you for coming to my college in Kearney, Nebraska in 1983 for the Procession tour. I feel blessed and privileged to have seen you perform live and whenever I speak of your music, it will be with a boundless degree of respect and fondness. I hope you are having some great jams with Jaco, Miles & Frank Zappa in the next life! Peace…….Doug

  131. huguitovi

    Lleno de angustia me he enterado de la noticia de que se nos fue Joe, así como también a principio de año M. Brecker, este año a su vez se cumplían 20 años de la muerte de Jaco Pastorius, también en septiembre… La música que nos han dejado servirá de inspiración para mas de varias generaciones venideras, solemos pensar que hay gente que no tendría que morir nunca, que su ser tiene que quedarse brindándonos su genio, talvez sea egoísta o talvez un deseo colectivo. Espero que como su espíritu acompañe a cada compositor en el mundo entero, nadie más que J. para fusionarnos en su “world music”.

    Víctor Hugo Astorga
    Compositor y Bajista

    Plenty of anguish I have found out the news that he was to us Joe, as well as to principle of year M. Brecker, this year 20 years of the death of Jaco Pastorius were marked as well, also in September… The music that has left us will serve as inspiration for but of several coming generations, usually we think that there is people whom it would not have to never die, that his being must remain offering his genius us, talvez is egoistic or talvez a collective desire. I hope that as his spirit accompanies each composer throughout the world, nobody more than J. in order to fuse in his “world to us music”.


    Victor Hugo Astorga
    Composer and Bassist

  132. Hector

    I am not a musician, I am a physician. I never had the chance or pleasure to meet Mr. Zawinul, however, I grew up listening to his music. The first encounter that I had was back in 1976 when I first heard Black Market and that event changed my life. I have been listening to Weather Report since that time and I keep going back to those wonderful recordings and never cease to be impressed by them. I saw Weather Report live in performance in Montreal in the Jazz festival and that was also an experience that I will never forget. To this day, Weather Report is still my favorite fusion band and I think that it was a band like no other.

    When I found out about Mr. Zawinul’s death my heart was full with sorrow. As a homage, I listened to his music all that weekend and so did some of my friends who also had their lives enriched by this wonderful musician.

    Keep the website, there are few musicians like the late, Mr. Joseph Zawinul.


    Hector Ferral, MD
    Section chief. Interventional Radiology
    RUSH University Medical Cente

  133. Gregory

    Just happened to stumble on the website. Nothing more can be said for such a musician and man like Joe! God bless you Joe, and my prayers for the family.

    I am playing Birdland now! Can’t say no more, tears in my eyes!

    Gary, Indiana USA

  134. Emre

    I was a month late in hearing about Joe Zawinul’s death. We shed tears for him last night with my wife. We cut our wedding cake with his music and I dance with my two-year-old daughter to his music everyday. He will be dearly missed.

    Emre Kose
    Istanbul, Turkey

  135. William

    Sometime in the fall of ’77, starting my senior year of high school, a casual friend and bass player handed me “Heavy Weather” and said “This is the greatest album ever.” This is how it all started. Fast forward to sometime in the late 90’s, living in Los Angeles where I attended every show in a 5 night run of the Syndicate at Catalina’s. I’m standing at the bar and Joe walks up, looks at me and says “You’ve been here every night.” “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” was my reply as I extended my hand which Joe shook lightly. He asked the bartended to pour me a shot of what he was having. We clinked glasses in a moment which still resonates with me.

    Joe’s music was truly unique. The funkiest Austrian on the planet. I loved reading his autobiography where he talks of meeting Miles and declining the offer to join Davis’ band, saying something to the effect of “When we get to play together in the future, we’ll make history”. Like Miles, Joe had a thing for boxing. I think he lived to knock you out with the music he and his band created.

    I miss him. The world just isn’t the same without him.
    william andrejko

  136. H.W.

    I am saddened to have just found out about Joe’s passing. I’ve been a fan of his work with Weather Report and the Syndicate. I will miss him and his music dearly.

    H.E. Whitney, Jr.

  137. joe vazquez

    Greetings: I found your site looking for more info on the late, great Joe Zawinul. Definitely his passion touched a lot of us, for which I am most humbly grateful. I have a tune that was obviously influenced by Joe’s work, and sadly, after his passing, it has taken on new meaning. Just wanted to stand up along with the others to say that Joe Zawinul was very special to me, and I will miss him.

    Joe Vazquez

  138. freeguy

    I was truly saddened to hear of Joe’s death. I can’t imagine a world without his strength, depth, creativity and humor. I never had the fortune of seeing Weather Report live – EXCEPT on the TV show, MIDNIGHT SPECIAL in early ’77, I believe, with Little Feat (Lowell George introduced them). I still have all of WR’s LPs and several or their solo recordings.

    I hope that his family and friends take some small comfort in knowing how much his music has meant to us.

    Frank F Carmack

  139. Ron

    We have lost a great talent with Joe’s passing. His innovation and style are still unmatched. His contribution to the jazz world is immeasureable and I find myself still grooving to a wide span of his music.
    I saw him in at the Beacon theater in New York many years ago and never forgot the way he mesmerized the audience with his abilities. He was to the keyboard what Jaco was to the bass. REST IN PEACE JOE. I am thankful that I was able to know you and your music!

  140. mahavishnu

    For all the complexities and multi-layering of the man’s music – you could see on stage and on film that he was a man of great spirit and great humour. The film that the BBC showed in Britain about him only months ago showed him in astonishingly fine fettle, both physically and mentally, making his seemingly sudden death all the more of a kick in the guts for those of us who’ve only just heard.

    The term ‘pioneer’ gets bandied about when talking about musicians with regular abandon, but listen again to that first Weather Report album and try to imagine what that sounded like in 1971 ! Music from outer space, man ! Into the ’80’s and ’90’s and he was STILL pushing the boundaries.

    One overriding image that sticks in the mind is of Joe looking over his keyboard stack at WR in full throttle at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976 ( now out on DVD ), a wry grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye as if he were thinking ‘ that’s my boys ! ‘ Magical.

    Thanks for the pure joy you gave us Joe, we’ll not forget it !

  141. MichaelL

    I am so saddened to hear this news. Another brilliant musician is taken from us. For almost 30 years I have been touched by the incredible music of Weather Report and have enjoyed the sharing the emotions that are an integral part of listening to, and trying to perform, some of the compositions. You can never get enough of great people like Joe but at least we have a great legacy to hold on to and share with other “river people”,that legacy is the music.

    Farewell Josef, but not goodbye. You will always remain with us through your music. Say hello to Jaco and look after him once again.

    From a long time fan in Ireland.

    Michael Lindsay

  142. Reginald

    The first time I heard Joe Zawinul was on Cannonball Adderley’s recording, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” … Joe’s solo as well as his soulful style on the Fender electric piano definitely made a lasting impression.

    I had grown to develop a thirst for music that I wanted to push the barriers of sound, Jimi Hendrix did that and so did Joe Zawinul, he was a master genious and I will definitely miss him.

    I can imagine that he’s jammin with Bird and Jaco ….


  143. Zawinulsounds

    freeguy MIDNIGHT SPECIAL in early ‘77, I believe, with Little Feat (Lowell George introduced them).

    Frank F Carmack

    Frank, I did’nt really listen to WR untill right about ’80, after which I’ve always remembered I heard that stuff somewhere before like on SNL or MS. I used to walk around in the late 70’s humming crazy tunes, just trying to change up the stuff I’d been hearing at the time… More than likely from hearing Z tunes from that show. Thank you so much for that tidbit of info! I’ll try to search for a copy of that show as I see them advertised occasionally, and try to figure out what I was thinking at the time.


  144. Reminiscence_hr

    We grief with smiles on our faces these days. We cry for he is no longer with us, but we smile for we know he always will be.

    Thank you Joe. For all the years passed, and all the years to come. Thank you for building hope through your music. Thank you for being.

    Yes, we cry. Yet, we smile in the same time.

  145. jonimatias

    master Zawinul was one of the most important musicians of jazzrock,rockjazz,fusion or whatever u want.

    Me,joao matias i can declare that Joe,along with Miles and Mcclaughlin and some others you know – they changed our way of listening music.

    If there is a paradise – you’ll be there playing for the angels.

    thanks joe for the pleasure you gave me

  146. lino

    I’m listning to I’LL NEVER FORGET YOU while I0m writing this… crying inside.
    I was presented to WEATHER REPORT in the mid 90’s with the album I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC.
    So much things happened inside of me… I couldn’t believe what I was listening!
    Then I discovered NIGHT PASSAGE, but the moment I played HEAVY WEATHER for the first time will be a sensation I will feel forever.
    When I hear you were leaving us, I couldn’t help beong very very sad.
    It was magic in the air.
    It’s incredible the way music touches people.

    This time, the dedication is for you…

  147. DavidG

    What a productive, marvelous life Mr. Zawinal lived. I have always been blessed by his musical genius…from Weather Report to the Zyndicate. He composed and worked hard up to his last days its seems, which is a great example to us all in regards to his uncompromising work ethic. Few musicians attain what he did in his life, which is a testament to his pioneering musical prowess. I don’t really know what he believed in but Jesus truly blessed him and his family and I hope that he is with him now. The world has truly lost a master artist who can never be replaced or duplicated …my prayers go out to his loved ones.

  148. Brian






  149. Daron

    hi first of all grace and mercy be to the zawinal family,
    I was a big fan a Josef,when he was with weather report.
    the music he and Wayne shorter made took the 70’s by storm.
    when I think back on how my friends and I would argue,about who,was the best band,
    return to forever,or weather report?without a doubt the forecast always won.
    in closing think you zawinal family for your support of Joe,we will miss him.
    grace&love to you all.
    a fan name Daron.

  150. Stefano

    Few months ago I was having a discussion with a person I love about the persuit of happiness in life and the possibility of being truly satisfied of our existence and to make my point I put on “Birdland” and said that was one of the reasons I still haven’t completely lost my faith in humanity.
    I deeply believe that.
    Thanks Joe

  151. HSoegaard

    20 Years have gone… I had the joy of working for Joe and his son Ivan…with the Syndicate. It was thier first European tour in 1987. I worked for other artist before and after that…but no one will ever get on the same level as Joe Zawinul got…. It was such a warm and friendly atmosphere and as I got sick and had to undergo a surgery in Austria during the tour…Joe and the rest of the band made sure that I was’nt forgotten in hospital…and after fast recovery I returned on the tour…and was wellcommed like a son that gets home to his family. Fantastic people…I will tell my kids about the Joe and Ivan Zawinul and the rest of the Syndicate. RIP Joe….Machts gut im himmel !!

    Henrik Søgaard

  152. Tom

    So saddened by the loss of Joe. I was hoping to see him one more time but now that will never happen.

    Two memories – Monterey Jazz Festival in 1998 – I’ll never forget their Friday night show – I sat there in awe. Second memory – before an Earth, Wind & Fire concert in the seventies at Oakland Arena and “Birdland” played on the PA – it sounded fantastic!

    Thank you Joe

  153. macondo

    I saw him last time in Yoshis in Oakland 2006..I sneak in when practice
    I shake hands and chat a little..he was The Mozart of the 20 century
    when I was 6 a hear him..when i was 8 I feel his music..when I was 12 I understand him..after understanding …musician are frustated painters..
    and painters are frustated musician ..I’m painting all your music ..
    weather report will be forever….
    fernando duarte

  154. ricardofiuza

    Hi Curt,
    Reading your memories about Zawinul just made me miss him more. I saw his show many times and I never talked to him ’cause I was too shy when I got the chance and I didnt want to bother him with the regular ”you are the best” and stuff. Anyway, the part you told about the time you saw him talking to his wife on the phone and the way he demonstrated his love for her shows what kind of human being he was. Thank you very much for that.

  155. macp76

    I have discovered Zawinul about 2 years ago, and since then i´ve tried to listen everything that Joe and all those great musicians he played with made. His work teached me to listen to music in another prespective. Every time i listen to themes as patriots, black market or carnavalito, i discover diferent sounds and experience different emotions. Only a real genius like Joe can create such a singular sound but simultaneously filled with many different influences. His music is a great inspiration for me. He deserves to me remembered as one of the greatest musicians of all times.
    May he R.I.P.

    Miguel Pinheiro
    Lagos, Algarve

  156. jacosteve

    I just noticed this great musician after his death. His music has opened the door to a jazz world I like. I feel a bit sorry about never seeing him live, but that’s not so bad, because he makes me believe in music and just start to play again by myself. I’m not that good, but it makes me happier. And so I only want to say one thing and although I don’t believe in such things like paradise, I hope he can somehow recognize that there are people loving his music. Thank you for the music master Joe.

  157. Alex L

    Thank you Joe for the inspiration and unforgettable beauty of your music. The way he played was like a discovery to me of something unusual, free and deep. The groove and unexplainable breath of his (indeed painted) tunes influenced my life and my own composing. “Domino theory”, “Ice-Pick Willy”, “Volcano for hire”, “Man with the copper fingers”, “Rooftops of Vienna”, “East 12th Street Band” are my favourites. On my opinion he is the best keyboard player in the whole history of music. Each time I hear the albums I have a feeling like music’s breathing!

  158. louiebfree

    Too Quiet a Year w/o Joe
    by Louie b. Free

    Joe’s music always evokes deep feelings in me.

    His music..his persona at live concerts..his soul touched mine.

    As I write this ( now listening to “A Remark You Made”), I wonder how I’d be different today w/o Joe Zawinal’s touch. Certainly I don’t mean physically. Every time that I hear this song-EVERY TIME I hear it-I FEEL it, and not just memories.

    Music has a sometimes wonderful, sometimes painful way of taking us elsewhere-often to the past-to the times we first got “into” a song. Joe’s music often does just that, but also, has the ability to take you somewhere else, even after you heard the song many, many times…

    To those of us Zawinal fans, when “World Music” became vogue, we all wondered where the ‘in vogue-ittes’ had been. Joe had been doing world music for years and years, prior.

    From the Cannonball Years (hey, was Joe in the Valley at Stambaugh Auditorium?) to the Zawninal Syndicate years. (Lest locals forget the State Theatre Weather Report concert)

    Joe Zawinul was hospitalized in his native Vienna on August 7, 2007[3], only five weeks after concluding a European tour. He died from a rare form of skin cancer (Merkel Cell Carcinoma) on September 11, 2007

    Yes, 2008 had been a sadly quiet year w/o Joe, but to and for our GREAT fortune, Joe’s left so much of himself…Joe left us a tool kit-a tool kit that provides us keys to unlock the doors of enjoyment,entertainment, introspection, happiness, sadness and wonder !

    Now listening to “Blackthorn Rose” from Weather Report’s Mysterious Traveller, as I look out the window to a beautiful blanket of snow… my memory accesses images from my past and sensations of warmth and wonder .

    I remember Joe and am truly appreciative for his gifts to us…plus, I’ll miss the hats….

    I would always query what would Joe’s next musical incarnation be….I hope to find out.

  159. xavi

    First time I have the oportunity to listen Joe & Weather Report was in 1978, in Barcelona, a show with Jeff Beck & Stanley Clarke tour. I saw them a few years later, with the Night Passage tour, and finally with the new band members, Victor Bailey, Omar Hakim. etc. Thanks Joe for your incredible music. It will be forever in my mind.


  160. JohnMalone

    I sometimes think I must be from another planet not to have heard of Joe’s passing, but I suppose living in remote Australia and not mingling with jazz lovers, it could happen.

    I first heard Joe in 1974, I would have been 11 and have spent the last 34 years loving everything I heard. Joe’s music has carried my heart and nurtured my soul all my growing life. I had the privilege of seeing the Syndicate live in Sydney in October 2000, and I named my son “Jazz,” born November 2000, in his honour, and he was at the concert in utero with my wife.

    I wept this morning when I read the news. I really cried. I guess all the emotion and joy I have received through his music was realised. Having Joe Jaco and Wayne together was one of those rare miracles of music.

    listen and you will feel emotions conveyed through music that no one has achieved before

    who loves you

    John Malone
    May 7th 2009

  161. George

    Just sitting here late on a Wednesday night and Sirius radio is broadcasting Joe’s last concert from NYC that took place in Lincoln Center. Its a show that my brother and I went to see (had front row seats) and I’ve got goosebumps listening to it. We obviously didnt know it was going to be his last, but the venue certainly brought out the best in himself and the Syndicate. Over the years, I’ve got to say that we’ve seen him perform no less than 50 times. Tons of Weather Report shows at the Beacon, the Palladium and out at the Pier, Weather Update shows in the Village, solo at Carnegie Hall with Steve Morse as an opening act and dozens of Syndicate shows at the Blue Note, out at the IMAC on Long Island, at Catalina’s in Los Angeles and this last one at Lincoln Center. The guy was just simply so eclectic and electric, simple and complex and truly one of a kind.

    Man…I really miss those events and I’ve got to say that nothing has really replaced this musical hole in my heart since his passing. I sincerly appreciate you keeping this page going for all this time. Its nice to log in every now and again to see what’s going on.

    Thanks for your effort,

  162. Renaissance Prince

    Thanks ever so much pal for putting up the “unofficial” fan page as a tribute to the late GREAT legend Joe Zawinul. It looks pretty official to ME! Especially considering how many cool and in-the-know folks have bothered to take some of their valuable time and take a moment to post some incredibly moving comments on your wonderful tribute page here. I think you deserve some credit from all of us for giving us a place to vent (as it were) our sadness and frustrations about losing someone so important to the music world, the Jazz world, the “Fusion” world, the “World Music” world…..etc. (Please excuse the word pun). But this is a good example of how many boundaries and areas this man and his myriad incredible hand-picked bandmates have crossed over the years! The words trail-blazer, genius, innovator, pioneer, hero, mentor, father-figure, inspiration, brilliant composer, arranger, writer, teacher, spiritual guide, role-model, (and on and on the list could go!) all come to mind and yet still seem somewhat inadequate to describe this one-of-a-kind musician and human being(?). The question mark remains…..since some have even suggested that perhaps he was not originally of this planet to begin with! LOL! That’s just a clever way of saying how good (GREAT!) he was as a musician and composer! And its a way for the inner-circle of musicians and purists who can actually comprehend and follow the significance of this man’s music! And significant it surely was, and still is, and most likely always will be. As long as there are people in the future who have taste and critical skills of evaluating what good music actually is. Relative….yes….but some things are so incredible that they literally SCREAM the word ‘GENIUS’ the minute anyone sees or hears that piece of work. And that’s what Joe’s music did for me and for most folks who had a critical ear and who where exposed to it.

    So first of all, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading ALL of the posts on this tribute page and that I want to thank ALL of those who took the time to post their thoughts here for everyone to see. That takes a certain amount of courage in and of itself! So lets not ignore that or them! THANKS guys/girls! Next I would like to add a short story of my own which someone above (“Anthony” on September 24th, 2007) wrote and which I would like to both confirm and add to! This was regarding his comment about the concert Joe did with his band The Zawinul Syndicate in Tallahasse Florida, at a famous but smaller venue called the Blue Moon Theatre.

    I say small because compared to some of the places Joe played in it was perhaps a 4 (out of 10) size-wise and yet it had a special and unique air about it that gave you the impression that this old place has had many other fine musicians and entertainers in it over the years. It was quite old and I was told a famous landmark and destination for anyone visiting North Florida to see a show in. It wasn’t especially grand or anything. Very basic, but yet it had a character that most modern venues seem to lack! Hard to describe in words, but as a former professional touring musician myself, I can tell you that all pro musicians know what I’m talking about! Smaller rooms, especially the older ones, tend to be the jobs we most enjoy doing, since its a much more personal connection with the audience. And the acoustics can (usually) be much eaisier to control for both the musicians and the board person, if there is not as much delay in sound travel (ie bounceback etc.) and if the room is jammed full of people (which help absord sound) which it definitely WAS the night Joe played there!

    So let me set the stage. At the time I was about 19 years old and well into my professional career as a musician (BIG lover of Jazz and Funk and especially “Fusion”). I won’t bother listing the bands I most listened to at the time, because most have already been mentioned above……but the Rippingtons, Yellowjackets, Spyro Gyra, David Sanborn, Dixie Dregs, Stanley Jordan, Joe Sample, Earl Klugh, Chick Corea Electric Band, et al are among the top of my list…..not to mention those already mentioned like RTF and Weather Report, Mahavishnu et al! I am a percussionist, so my ears are keen on phrasing and ryhthmic patterns whether they be from a drummer, a conga player, a bass player (like Jaco, Stanley, or Gerald Veasley), or a GREAT keyboard player/composer like Maestro Zawinul! And let me say for the record folks…..Joe ALWAYS chose the absolute BEST players to tour and record with! And that was also part of the reason he was so successful! Let’s not understate or underestimate that FACT! Because even with Joe’s immense talents as both a player, performer, and writer, all the genius in the world can be rendered quite useless IF you don’t have the right people articulating what you are trying to convey to the public! And choose the right folks Joe certainly DID!

    Now at this particular concert, in this particular incarnation of the Zawinul Syndicate, the line-up was as follows: Joe on keys (of course!), Scott Henderson on guitar, Gerald Veasley on bass, and Cornell Rochester on traps (i.e., drums!). I’m 42 now but was only 19 when I heard them for the first time live! So here I am this young aspiring musician well on my way to a pro career in music, and I had just got off my first world tour with the Air Force’s elite Show-Band and Entertainment Troupe called Tops in Blue! I had just returned to my base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida (Eglin AFB) and I read about this gig that the Syndicate is doing down in Tallahesse, which is roughly 60 miles east of Ft. Walton Beach. So I look at the date and time and realize that if I hurry back I can make this performance since I was at that time working the graveyard shift on my regular Air Force “day” job (the touring stuff was TDY and not my actual job – MOS – in the service).

    Now I had no idea what to expect or who would be playing with Joe at this gig, but I KNEW that whoever it was they would all be fantastic musicians, so I was not in the least bit worried about that. It was just this nagging curiosity on the drive down as to who would be backing Joe up. So I get there early, and I find a good seat (general seating in folding chairs if I recall correctly) and I’m thinking to myself, who is going to be playing with joe tonight? So I see what looks like one of the musicians floating around the audience greeting people and saying hello to fans he knew. So I asked someone who that was, and they said it was Scott Henderson. Now I had known about Scott and how good he was, but had never see his face anywhere up close. He was still at the time one of those up and coming greats who was still paying his dues backing up the old-heads and and doing studio work, etc., and never gettting the credit he deserves because he’s not quite “mainstream” enough, etc. I know all fusion and jazz musicians can relate.

    So I approach him and greet him and shake his hand, and I tell him who I am and what I am doing as a musican, etc., and that I was so excited to hear the great Joe Zawinul of Weather Report LIVE and up close in such a small venue. And I proceeded to ask him about who the rest of the band was. He said Gerald is on bass and Cornell on drums! I replied “I know Gerald Veasely, he’s from my hometown back in Philly!” Scott laughed and said “Yeah, that’s right and so is Cornell!” Now Cornell I did not know about, which is ironic because I am a drummer and had been studying and playing in Philly since a very young age. And going to Performing Arts High School put me in touch with young musicians from all over the city and we all talked about who the big-guns were out in the real-world doing it. So somehow Cornell just wasn’t on my radar screen….but keep in mind I was only 19 and went directly into the military right out of high school (with my sites set on becoming a musician in the military once I got in!).

    So the concert starts with a bang and I just sat there in awe as these guys just ripped through one song after another, each taking mind-numbing solos and doing runs and progressions that would make the most seasoned pro blush with envy! I was just paralyzed with amazement and perplexed with curiosity at how these young guys were so good and yet so unknown to the mainstream culture! Keep in mind this was in ’87……Gerald, Scott, and Cornell are HIGHLY regarded and ‘mainstream’ accomplished NOW, in large part thanks to the influence and experience of playing with greats like Joe! But also because they were just destined to be great anyway and this was an early step in that direction (and a BIG one at that!). And believe me, Joe was a major taskmaster on stage as well as off! He would make comments right onstage live if he wanted more out of you! He yelled over to Scott during his solo that night “Make it sing!”. He also yelled out to Pops Adderley “This one’s for you Pops” as Anthony mentioned above! Very intense guy Joe was! Excelent bandleader too!

    The other interesting point was that about seeing Cannonball Adderley’s fathe,r Julian “Pops” Adderley, Sr. (an accomplished musician in his own right) at that concert. He was there sitting in the front row, and half way into the show Joe stands up and introduces him to the crowd and said it was his 90-something-th birthday! Wow….people were just amazed that he was even still around. So they all gave him a rousing standing ovation! Joe then dedicated the next song to him, which was “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” a song which Joe wrote for his son “Cannonball” back in 1967! WOW! Talk about a historic moment. The song brought tears to the eyes of the elderly Julian Adderley, Sr., whose son was taken from us at the premature age of 46 by a stroke while performing on stage. (…and in later years…..AWESOME pics!)

    Cannonball was another gifted genius. May he rest in peace!
    Cannonball was a short portly man, hence the name “Cannonball” (given to him while he was in school for his voracious appetite). The song was a very moving tribute and was played with EXTRA emotion and intensity by Joe since Pops was there front and center to witness the momentous occasion! Joe played in Canonball’s band back in the day! If one Adderley was taken early, we could at least celebrate his memory and also the fact that his father was still around at the ripe age of 90-something and in good health to boot! What a treat that was! I had no idea that the Adderley family was origianlly from Florida and that area in particular! So I learned something that night! I also had no idea that Joe was a good friend and bandmate of Cannonball’s! Check this out (YOUNG lions!) if you want to REALLY be BLOWN AWAY!

    After the concert was over, I waited up front for the band members to come out and greet the fans. Joe was backstage freshening up and probably chatting privately with VIPs, etc. But Gerald Veasley and Cornell came out right away and I introduced myself to them and hung out with them for a while since the three of us were Philly boys and had a lot of mutual musician friends. They invited me backstage to meet Joe and hang out later on, but I had to get going if I was going to make it back to work on time! It’s a serious thing if you are late from work in the military…they call it ‘AWOL’ there! LOL! So unfortunately I never got to meet Joe face to face and thank him for all his music. So those of you who posted above who did were VERY VERY fortunate indeed methinks. I wish I had a video of that show! If anyone knows if such a thing exists….I’d love to get my hands on a copy! Hopefully somebody recorded that! I do recall seeing video camera(s) set up there. Maybe the band made a copy. I guess I can ask Gerald Veasley about that in an e-mail! If anyone out there knows anything else about that show or tour, I’d love to know.

    So now you know! And so anyone who was fortunate enough to have attended that small gathering (roughly 200-250 people) in that intimate of a setting, knows how special that evening was and how it touched their hearts and lives! Just to be in a room with all those heavies from the early days of jazz and to have that song played to the elderly Senior Adderley right before my eyes, and to watch his reaction to that, and the tears welling etc. was a once in a lifetime even for which I am eternally greatful to God for. Man I tell you folks it just doesn’t get any better than THAT! Trust me! I’ve met many heavies and rapped with them etc. and hung out…..but that just TOOK THE CAKE! A TRUE ‘once-in-a-Blue Moon’ event (pun intended) at the Blue Moon Theatre in Tallahasse FL. ca 1987! A night that will live in my mind and heart until the day I die…and I am Sooooo happy to be able to share it with all of you, Joe’s adoring fans and friends from all over the world!!!!

    Thanks again to Curt Bianchi for allowing me – and us all – the forum in which to place our flowers! I don’t know you guy, but any friend of Joe’s is also a friend of mine! Can I get an AMEN on that one????


    Gerard E. Semola
    Musician/Muralist/Amateur Historian
    Berklee Alumni ’92
    Philadelphia PA

  163. nick

    Two years gone Joe, since you left us. The memories of the concerts and the music live on, of course. Love and best wishes to the Zawinul family and all the musicians in Weather Report and the Syndicate (especially Wayne).

  164. Eholck

    I just learned … two years late …. how come we humans never learn to fully appreciate ” the moment” – as something divine and precious! Joe Zawinul gave me many beautiful and smiling musical hours… and of course I thought of him as immortal … and he is of course in a way!

    Thank You Joe !!! You really made a difference in this this world!

    Erik Holck

  165. agapefriend

    Grew up in UK – live in Western Canada… have greatly enjoyed Joe Z.’s unique style… LOVE YouTube’s vids of him with and Trilok Gurtu… wish there was a little more personal info about him (family, interests…etc) – a sad loss to music… one ORIGINAL CAT.

  166. dion prisby

    i listen to mr zawinul play every day. his rendition of ‘my one and only love’ is worth playing every day, just to hear how solo piano is played by a master. he will never be forgotten, he will live on thru his music always.

  167. denyadog

    it just seems impossible that you are gone. i forget that the phone is not going to ring again. no more stories, no more adventures. how can such a good and true friend be gone for good? even now, i can’t believe this has come to pass.

  168. Wernersen

    Now, after 6 years have gone by, I would say that there was nothing similar in the area of ​​jazz and jazz-rock. Joe Zawinul always had the best musicians and his style was always up to date. The compositions were excellent, and live concerts were extremely well. This musician will go down in history. Too bad he had to leave the world far too soon. We always will miss him.

  169. Valterio Ferrari

    Grazie Joe, grazie per quel bellissimo concerto di Reggio Emilia del 1980, grazie per avermi accompagnato da allora con la tua musica, grazie per questo regalo infinito.


  170. Roberto

    Joe, sono da sempre un tuo grande appassionato, grazie per le innumerevoli emozioni che hai saputo trasmettermi, la tua straordinaria musica mi ha sempre accompagnato e rimane una delle gioie piu’ grandi per me.

  171. klegas

    About six years went by since our world has become a little bit smaler then.Joe was a real ,Multi-Kulti’.He lived it,not to see his pictures in the newspapers-he lived it because it’s the only way to get forward as human beeings.
    Just heard the duett with Wayne Shorter on the ’75th.birthday album.What shall I say-
    Joe,you are unforgetable,that’s what you are!

  172. drumdik

    There is no musician who has touched me so much as Joe, his fantastic skills, his tasteful choice of sounds and above all his great respect for ethnic music combined with jazz made him the most influential musician in my life! I owe him a lot, thank you so much Joe, you’re every day on my sound system, as live as possible!

  173. guilleariel

    Dejó un vacío que nadie podrá llenar nunca… Desde que conocí su música no dejaba de esperar su próximo disco… Inigualable…

  174. Rick Milne

    To really learn something you have to have a real understanding of it. It all starts in your head and heart first and only then it can be executed…if you’re lucky! I always enjoyed Joe’s sense of melody and the way he used notes like a color pallet. His understanding was at such a high level. But the take away for me wasn’t just the years of listening to the newest music that came out of this Genius and the musicians he surrounded himself with, but with his understanding of RHYTHM. I owe my sense of rhythm to this man. My ears and eyes were so open when at a young age I discovered Joe’s music. His rhythm and groove always went far beyond fusion to me. Thank you for showing me the way, Joe. Thank you. Thank you! Rick Milne (drummer of Pear)

  175. Rick Milne

    His music taught me how to really listen to rhythms and musical lines intertwining in this thing called music. If even a micro fiber of him rubbed off on me.. then I’m truely blessed. I will never forget playing Black Market over and over when I was a kid. I feel this music was my foundation from that point on. I attended an Afro pop concert in La back in the late 80’s..It was new and very hot music at the time. Who was in line right next to me , by himself checking out these new sounds and beats, Joe. He told me that he was excited that he might catch something musical to take home with him . So eager to eager to eager to create! Mercy Mercy Mercy!

  176. phipps

    joe, your passing is not in vain, your music was all that mattered and It lives on without you. not a day passes without me playing your music, it might only be in a short car journey or while I relax in a bath… your always hear in my heart and soul and will be until I leave this place too.

  177. Oliver Franke

    Dear Joe! You were and are an extraordinary great inspiration to me. You are like the godfather of music to me and you are the one which is my leading figure about the spirit of music. Love you ! Rest in peace my friend!

  178. Matias Gaburri

    When i discover your wonderful music, you were already on “the other side”. Anyway, your music changed my life completely, it made me. see and even feel, some things in a completely different way.

    Thank you, thank you so much.

  179. Daniel Bertolone

    The greatest Innovator be it jazz, funk, world music, fusion, whatever the genre Joe was the first……during the years of Weather Report, he put out some of the best and most innovating music on the planet….and it all swang with a lot of grooves from all over the world…..I salute you Master of Masters……

  180. Nathan Burks

    I have loved joe since the first time i listened, in 1970 as a college freshman at USC. He has been a true inspiration and will forever be my favorite piano/keyboard player. He continues to give me and the rest of listening planet precious , very valuable gifts.

  181. Gary Courtland-Miles

    i Love him Forever……

    Joe always was..and still IZ…… Innovative Creative Force!

    Thank You man!


    ~ Gary Courtland-MIles/ Pianist Composer

  182. Jon Sinigaglia

    Well today is, by utter coincidence – the anniversary of Joe’s death, so I had to tell the story of what happened that day to me.

    My wife was pregnant with our first child and we had been talking at great length for some months about what the boy would be called. I tried sneaking-in “Joe” in a number of ways, a number of languages and permutations (Guiseppe, Joe, Pepe, Yosef) to name a few, but she wasn’t having it. She just didn’t like the name. Period.

    The day before Joe’s death was her birthday, and I treated her with a surprise visit to her favourite place in the world – Morocco. We had a fantastic time and she was beaming with joy.

    September the 12th I had to check my email for work so we went to the local internet cafe in Marrakech and I logged in to my email account.

    I sat there stunned, with tears running down my face as I saw the headlines in a number of messages telling of Joe’s passing. I felt as though an integral part of my life had been ripped away.

    Wifey saw me across the room and was very worried as to what had happened to me. She came over, looked over my shoulder at the email messages, and without blinking an eye she said to me “we’ll call him Joe”….

    I’m pretty sure that Curt knows this story, but on this very day I had to let the wider world know.

    Be good, y’all, and keep the spirit alive


  183. Ciro Greco

    Ancora mi commuovo nel sentire la sua musica.Dire “Divino” è poco, troppe volte la sua musica ha svegliato in me il senso dell’eterno.
    Le sue note sono archetipi, con i quali ha saputo rappresentare universalmente. il dolore e la gioia di vivere,
    Lo immagino lassù a giocare con le nuvole.

  184. Ciro Greco

    Still moved me to hear her musica.Say “Divine” is short, too many times his music has awakened in me a sense of Eternity.Le his notes are archetypes, with which it has been able to represent universally. the pain and the joy of living, I imagine him up there playing with the clouds.

  185. Enrico

    i miss Joe terribly … this nice clever and brave man, a world citizen, brought so many new colors to Music like a very few great Musicians did. He was light years ahead, he used sounds that no one could have had the courage to use to create beautiful unique Music… Thanks a bunch Mr. Joseph Zawinul.

  186. Wim van Trigt

    And then, at a certain moment in April 2017, ithey all came fully to my mind again: those wonderful nights at Paradiso in Amsterdam, when he creatied his own, intimate atmosphere with marvellous groups of young, promising musicians and I thought to myself: what an icon of music this man was! I started listening to all his music again from beginning to end and from end to beginning. It turned out to be his history, the Syndicate part of which was my revival. Let’ remember him deeply on next 11 September!

  187. Helge Krabye

    Thank you so much for all the great music, you wisdom, your creativity – everything you shared that will remain with us and inspire us as long as we live!

  188. Enrico Gianstefani

    As soon as I knew you were in Italy and had a chance to come to your concerts I did. I’ve been listening to you with the Weather Report at Mestre and Ravenna, with Syndacate at Imola etc. You’ve been very influential in spreading a new way of playing synths and the story is on your part. As a small keyboard player I thank you and I send you a hug wherever you are.

  189. yajnesh

    Wonderful and amazing musician and composer. I will never forget his music, thru Weather Report or thru the Syndicate…I’ve been listening for over 30 years and I have not found something like this music anywhere else…

  190. Raj

    Has ten years really passed? I’ll never forget the first time I heard him, on the radio, KPRS, in Kansas City. “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”! From that moment til’ now, I remain forever changed. So grateful to God, that I got to see him, Wayne, Omar and Victor turn out the Uptown Theater. He’s influenced every sound I’ve heard inside of me, for the past fifty years. God bless you always, Cousin Joe!

  191. khushroo Dholoo

    I love Joe’s music & hear it almost every day and now have been watching on You Tube also. I deeply miss him & his music. Wish you all the best wherever you are, you are my hero

  192. Randall Sammons

    I was just sitting at the computer, when one of his beautiful non-melodic melodies popped into my head.
    No one ever composed like Joe. His melodic and rhythmic approaches should be taught to first year classical music majors. God, I miss him.

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