I was shocked to hear Chick Corea had died today at age 79 of cancer. He was so vital and active up that I had no idea he was ill in any way (life goal right there — reminds me too of David Bowie, who was making music until the very end).

I dug back into the memory banks and realized I saw him live when I played the Jacksonville Jazz Festival with Pacific Mambo Orchestra in 2017. I remember a hilarious back and forth texting with various band members, because while some of us were out in the audience, the band leaders had snuck up onto the stage and were standing in the wings watching Chick (and texting us pictures flipping us off).

This is how close I got to jazz legend Chick Corea when we played the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.

I also took a few online classes with Chick (and as far as I know, he was still doing these workshops literally weeks ago). I believe it was via a class taught by Gary Burton that I learned his song 500 Miles High (see below).

Rest In Peace, Mr. Corea.