Jazz legend Maynard Ferguson dead at 78

VENTURA, Calif., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Renowned trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, who embraced nearly every genre of music, has died in Ventura, Calif., at the age of 78.

The Canadian jazz icon died Wednesday from kidney and liver failure brought on by an abdominal infection, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday.


Inspired by his violinist mother, Ferguson became a star in Canada at an early age and eventually dropped out of school and moved to the United States at the age of 20.

He anchored the Stan Kenton Orchestra and was named best jazz trumpeter in Down Beat magazine's poll from 1950 to 1952. He also played on Hollywood film soundtracks like "The Ten Commandments" and "Rocky," which gave him the pop hit, "Gonna Fly Now."

He appeared with symphony orchestras, dabbled in disco as well as jazz-rock, but returned to straight-ahead jazz about 15 years ago, the Times said.

Ferguson and his Big Bob Nouveau Band played a series of sold-out shows in New York last month and recorded an album due out later this year. The group was scheduled to start a tour in Tokyo next month.


He is survived by his four children.

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