Nick Colonne, a smooth jazz artist known for his guitar skills and colorful suits and hats, died suddenly on Saturday, according to his publicist.
He was hospitalized Dec. 31 “with some pain” and died early the next morning at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Elgin, Illinois, according to a press release provided to USA TODAY by Rep. Christine Clark. His age was unknown.
“We are devastated to have lost Nick,” read the team statement from Colonne. “The tributes from Nick’s adoring fans and fellow artists around the world tell the story of a hugely talented man who lived his life to the fullest and was clearly loved by all. Nick’s legacy will live on. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Nick’s family at this time.”
The artist team remembers Colonne as an “ultra stylish” urban jazz star who released a string of independent albums in the 1990s before rising to prominence on the global jazz scene in the early 1990s. 2000.
During his career, Colonne reached No. 1 on Billboard’s smooth jazz airplay chart eight times, and he was the only smooth jazz artist with five No. 1 hits from a single album, “The Journey” by 2016.
Other musicians have publicly mourned Colionne, known to many as “Uncle Nick”.
“This man took me under his wing like a nephew,” musician Bee Boisseau wrote in an Instagram post. “Dressed well…ANYTIME! And he could play that daggone guitar! So much fun to be around…so much wisdom…so much talent! I’m better off knowing him.”
Saxophonist Michael Lington, who had performed several times with Colionne since they met “many moons ago”, mourned the artist whom he nicknamed his “brother”.
“We all have the same experience with him, always fun and warm on and off stage,” Lington said. tweeted.
Colonne’s latest album, “Finger Painting,” arrived in April 2020. He had a new project in the works “for the past few months,” his publicist said. His album “Just Like That” is expected this spring.
He had planned several tour dates in 2022, including three cruises based in Curacao in January and February.
Outside of his own recording career, the artist has received numerous accolades, including the 1996 Malcolm X College Alumnus of the Year Award. He has spent the past 20 years tutoring children at a suburban school in his hometown of Chicago, and received the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award at the 2010 National Smooth Jazz Awards for his community work and support of breast cancer causes. breast.
Funeral arrangements will be announced this week.