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November 10, 1999

Article sent by Kukuoo@aol.com.

07:25 PM ET 11/09/99

Trumpeter Lester Bowie Dead At 58

NEW YORK (AP) _ Jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie, a founding member of the long-running Art Ensemble of Chicago, has died from complications from liver cancer. He was 58.

Bowie died Monday night at his Brooklyn home, said Kevin Beauchamp, a representative of the Art Ensemble, the jazz group Bowie helped found in 1969.

The group has played the United States and Europe for 30 years.

Bowie, who also played the fluegelhorn, was known as a flamboyant performer with a sense of humor and an appreciation for the theatrical side of performing.

"Lester Bowie was a great trumpeter who kind of pushed the boundaries," said Walter Wade, an on-air personality at WBGO-FM, a jazz station in Newark, N.J.

"His approach to playing, it was very visceral," Wade said.

That style was matched by the musicians he played with in the ensemble.

"They were pioneers who took music seriously but didn't leave the theater out," Wade said.

Bowie was known for using all kinds of music in his performances, including the works of Michael Jackson and James Brown.

Born in Maryland, Bowie was brought up in Arkansas and Missouri. He started playing the trumpet at age five and by 16, he was leading his own group.

As a teenager in St. Louis, he practiced his trumpet by an open window, hoping that Louis Armstrong would hear him and discover him.

Bowie helped form Black Artist Group, and the Great Black Orchestra in St. Louis. Later in Chicago, he and saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell formed the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

He recorded with Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, Jimmy Lyons, and Cecil Taylor.

He had been on tour with the group Brass Fantasy in London and went to hospital there when he felt ill, Beauchamp said. He came off the tour and headed back to New York. He went back into the hospital in New York and was sent home, where he died.

Bowie is survived by his wife Deborah Bowie; six children, and two grandchildren.

Source: http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2562003406-b7d

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