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Jazz fest officials unsure who will replace George Duke in lineup

Updated: 2013-08-07T00:54:12Z

By TIMOTHY FINN

The Kansas City Star

Organizers of Kansas City’s 18th and Vine Jazz & Blues Festival expressed their sadness and sympathies over the death of renowned jazz keyboardist and producer George Duke but said it was too soon to talk about who will replace him in the festival’s lineup.

Duke, 67, died Monday in Los Angeles. A family spokesman told the Associated Press that Duke had been receiving treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

He was one of five headliners scheduled to perform at the all-day festival in October in the 18th and Vine District.

“Our first reaction is we are deeply saddened for his family and for the music world,” Suzetta Parks, the festival’s executive producer, told The Star on Tuesday. “He was a great producer a wonderful artist.

“It is too early to share any kind of plan we have for the festival regarding replacement. We’re going to be looking into that, but right now we have nothing to share except complete shock and sadness over this loss.”

The festival begins at 11 a.m. Oct. 12 and will last until midnight. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster or by calling 816-474-6262. The other headliners: Con Funk Shun, Bettye LaVette, the Messenger Legacy and Kelley Hunt.

Duke recently released the album “Dreamweaver,” much of which was dedicated to his wife, Corine, who died of cancer in July 2012. It closes with a rendition of “Happy Trails,” Dale Evans’ closing theme to ‘The Roy Rogers Show.”

Duke has been associated with a wide array of artists from all over the music spectrum, from Frank Zappa and Michael Jackson to Miles Davis. In a promotional video for “Dreamweaver” released recently by his record label, Concord, Duke said, “The thing about music is if you have the ability to play different forms of music, it doesn matter what uou call it ... What you call music is what people do to label it, to sell it.

“I kind of expand on all of that. I was in a rock band. I played with a bunch of Brazilians. I played R&B with Parliament-Funkadelic. I’ve done jazz with Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley. I’ve done all of that. So that’s who I am.”

To reach Timothy Finn, call 816-234-4781 or send email to tfinn@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/phinnagain. Read more from him at our music blog, Back to Rockville, at KansasCity.com.

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