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Jack McDuff Passes – 1/23/2001


Jack McDuff Dies in Minneapolis. He was 74.

McDuff recorded with several well-known labels, including Prestige in 1960. His latest work, yet unreleased, was recorded under his current label, Concord Jazz, said John McCauley, McDuff’s Minneapolis-based agent.

Collaborators during his career included guitarists George Benson and Mark Whitfield and horn player Red Holloway.

“Jack McDuff gave me the most important foundation for communicating my music to others,” Benson stated in a release given to the Associated Press. “He pointed out the elements that are universally common to us all.”

Born Sept. 17, 1926, in Champaign, Ill., McDuff fronted Heatin’ System, a popular band of the mid-1960s that featured Benson, Holloway and drummer Joe Dukes. As late as 2000, he was traveling with a re-creation of Heatin’ System that featured horn players Andrew Beals and Jerry Weldon, guitarist John Hart and drummer Rudy Petschauer.

McDuff spent most of his career in Chicago and New York City and also traveled internationally. He met his wife, Kathy McDuff, while playing at the Artists’ Quarter in Minneapolis and moved to Minnesota in 1990. He continued to play at Artists’ Quarter, now located in St. Paul, as well as the Dakota Bar & Grill in St. Paul.

McDuff was recovering from a series of strokes and died of an apparent heart attack. He is survived by his wife and two stepchildren

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