"Wayne Shorter, my best friend, left us with courage in his heart, love and compassion for all, and a seeking spirit for the eternal future."
Legendary American jazz musician Wayne Shorter, who played the saxophone alongside Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Art Blakey and more has passed away aged 89. No cause of death was provided. He was also renowned for his contributions to the jazz-fusion supergroup Weather Report.
Revealing his death on Facebook, “Today at 4 am, Wayne Shorter peacefully continued on his immense journey into the unknown,” the statement reads. “He was surrounded by loving family. In his words, ‘It’s time to go get a new body and come back to continue the mission.’ Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.” That final saying is a prayer to Buddha.
Last month, Shorter won his 12th Grammy Award alongside Leo Genovese in the category Best Improvised Jazz Solo on the track Endangered Species from Live At The Detroit Jazz Festival (Candid Records).
“Wayne Shorter, my best friend, left us with courage in his heart, love and compassion for all, and a seeking spirit for the eternal future,” Herbie Hancock said in a statement (per Rolling Stone).
“He was ready for his rebirth. As it is with every human being, he is irreplaceable and was able to reach the pinnacle of excellence as a saxophonist, composer, orchestrator, and recently, composer of the masterful opera …Iphigenia. I miss being around him and his special Wayne-isms, but I carry his spirit within my heart always.”
In Tina Turner’s memoir, Happiness Becomes You, she credited Shorter and his wife Ana Maria with “saving her life” when they provided her refuge after she left Ike Turner in 1976.
Shorter received many awards in his life, including an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Berklee College Of Music in 1999, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, the joint winner of the Polar Music Prize with Sting (2017), and the Kennedy Centre Honours Award from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for his contributions to arts in 2018.
View tributes from his longtime label, Blue Note Records, Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Elijah Wood, and more below.
Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter
We are deeply saddened to announce that visionary saxophonist, composer & Blue Note legend #WayneShorter has passed away at age 89. Born August 25, 1933 in Newark, NJ, Shorter has left an indelible mark on the development of music for more than 60 years: https://t.co/fySqFmRek0 pic.twitter.com/k1ilIG5LRe— Blue Note Records (@bluenoterecords) March 2, 2023
Wayne Shorter, my best friend, left us with courage in his heart, love and compassion for all, and a seeking spirit for the eternal future. He was ready for his rebirth. As it is with every human being, he is irreplaceable . . . pic.twitter.com/MRVfXhaz8T— Herbie Hancock (@herbiehancock) March 2, 2023
Rest in peace to longtime Joni friend and collaborator Wayne Shorter. A visionary musician and composer, his contributions to the world of music will always be remembered.— Joni Mitchell (@jonimitchell) March 2, 2023
Photo by Lester Cohen pic.twitter.com/zHXuXayTWp
I love Wayne Shorter with every fiber of my being. Saw him play 20 times, listened to him in every context I could. A spiritual, intellectual and viscerally transcendent giant. My hero forever. I aspire to be a fraction of the musician and human he was. Love for ever.— Flea (@flea333) March 2, 2023
Jazz Master Wayne Shorter. RIP. pic.twitter.com/yK2JWX0l26— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) March 3, 2023
"Don’t throw away your childish dreams. You have to be strong enough to protect them.” - Wayne Shorter, 2012 pic.twitter.com/ugOYOyxTfP— COSMO BAKER (@CosmoBaker) March 2, 2023