Questlove, 9th Wonder, and more Hip Hop superstars have paid tribute to a jazz great who passed away on Sunday (April 16) at the age of 92.
Ahmad Jamal, a Pittsburgh native and “cool jazz” pioneer, also won the lifetime achievement award Grammy in 2017. And though no cause of death was given, Pitchfork reported that his music remains immortal thanks to the liberal sampling of his classic 1970 album, The Awakening.
Artists such as Gang Starr (“The Illest Brother”), Fat Joe (“The Shit is Real”), Pete Rock (“Something Funky”), Common (“They Say,” which also featured Kanye West and John Legend), Nas, and JAY-Z (“Feelin’ It”) were just a few of many to sample Jamal’s legendary body of work.
And so, when word of Jamal’s passing became public, the tributes poured out en masse.
“Ahmad Jamal — 1930-2023 — a blessed life,” wrote Questlove on his Instagram page.
“Rest in power, Ahmad Jamal,” wrote 9th Wonder.
Tributes also poured in from the likes of Posdnuos of De La Soul (who shared a tribute to the jazz legend on his Instagram stories), rapper Blu, James Poyser of The Roots, and Canadian instrumentalists BADBADNOTGOOD.
Check out their tributes below.
Ahmad Jamal, forever and everhttps://t.co/JrK06ocNGp
— BLU (@HerFavColor) April 17, 2023
R.I.P. Ahmad Jamal❤️❤️🕊️🕊️
— James Poyser (@jamespoyser) April 16, 2023
Rest in paradise to Ahmad Jamal 🌟 Incredible incredible incredible language and sound 🌕🌌 https://t.co/I8DRY85YVq
— badbadnotgood (@badbadnotgood) April 16, 2023
Jazz and Hip Hop go hand-in-hand, as has been evidenced by the announcement of Nas, De La Soul and Mary J. Blige as just a few of the big rap names set to perform at California’s Blue Note Jazz Festival in Napa, California.
Featuring Robert Glasper as the festival’s artist-in-residence, the three-day spectacle will be hosted by Dave Chapelle and include additional performances from Chance The Rapper, NxWorries (Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge), Ari Lennox, Cordae, Rapsody, Talib Kweli and Madlib, Digable Planets and others.
The festival will go down July 28 to 30 at Napa’s Silverado Resort, and tickets can be purchased at Blue Note’s website starting April 7 at 9 a.m. PT.
The California lineup comes after Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge previously announced their plan to reunite as NxWorries at the New York City edition of the 2023 Blue Note Jazz Festival, marking their first show together in five years.