Loss of a jazz trumpeter, 51

Loss of a jazz trumpeter, 51


norman lebrecht

August 26, 2022

The American jazz organist, trumpeter and saxophonist Joey Defrancesco died early today.

He released more than 30 albums, after an early start as sideman with Miles Davis, and was cherished by the best in the business.


  • Clarrieu says:

    Norman! JdF might have played trumpet in addition (I personnally didn’t even know it), but sorry, everybody knew him primarily as one of the most famous B3 Hammond players. “Loss of a Jazz organist” would be the correct headline.

  • Sam's Hot Car Lot says:

    Such a shame. He was a great jazz organist. Sadly, people his size don’t generally live into old age.

    • William says:

      Sadly, I agree with you. I worried he might have diabetes and weight issues. I saw him here in Chicago a month ago. I pray, God Bless his soul.

  • Rick says:

    “Jazz Trumpeter”
    Actually the greatest living exponent of the Hammond organ.
    And yes, he did occasionally play some nice one hand trumpet while ‘kicking’ bass lines with his left hand.

  • CarlD says:

    OH NO! Joey was the world’s top-rated Hammond organ player in the world for several years, picking up the mantle from Jimmy Smith. I met Joey once at a gig in Chicago, and he was very friendly (maybe in part because we’re both Philly natives). This represents truly tragic news for the jazz world. RIP, homeboy, you were one of the greats.

  • Theo Benton says:

    Come On Now He Was known As The Best ORGANIST In The Business.

  • Santipab says:

    Sad news. Saw him with Van Morrison 4 years ago and he was great.

    Definitely most well known as an organ player though.

  • Michel says:

    RIP maestro. Sad news

  • Tom Moore says:

    That is some excellent jazz trumpet.

  • FRANK J. JACKSON says:

    It was always a treat to see his performances at South Kitchen in Philadelphia, PA l always made his shows religiously. Rest in paradise, Sir.

  • David Rolon says:

    First off, this is an unbelievably tragic loss. So great and so young….secondly, you should get your info straight….yes Joey dabbled with the trumpet, but more importantly Joey was the greatest living practitioner of the Hammond B3 Organ of the modern era. He followed in the footsteps of the greats Jimmy Smith and Larry Young. He was a world-class virtuoso who will be greatly missed.

  • Edwin Lora says:

    I have known him as a Jazz Organist, one of the best in the world, he has produced more records playing Organ than playing trumpet. Please do your search. Thanks

  • Steve Rogers says:

    I saw him a couple of years ago in tel aviv, he played a b3 most of the time with a bit if brass work too. A great loss, one of the best

  • Joseph Surmitis says:

    The world has prematurely lost the Miles Davis of the Hammond B3. Joey was a uniquely brilliant and cherished talent. See you on the “Big Stage”!

  • David A Miller says:

    I saw him live in Military Park in Indianapolis, IN for the 2006 Jazz festival. I enjoyed his program on the satellite radio called “Organized” playing lots of jazz music on the Hammond organ. I will miss him.

  • Janis goldberg says:

    I was looking forward to hearing him play at the Jazz Fest here in WNY so sad Rest in peace!

  • Roland says:

    This is too sad. Such a wonderful musician, probably the most prominent and surely one of the best jazz organists of our time. I wish I could have had the chance to see him live in concert playing his B-3; now it’s too late. What an immense loss to the world of music!
    Rest in peace, Mr. Joey DeFrancesco!

  • Michael says:

    Saw and met jdf on the blue note jazz cruise just b4 covid 19 started I was very impressed with his virtuosity and was looking to seeing him on a future cruise
    My condolences to his family

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Regardless of how good a trumpeter he may have been, it was a ‘side hustle’ to Joey D’s Hammond B3 organ playing

  • Steve Benjamin says:

    The greatest Hammond B3 organ player ever, PERIOD!
    I am so sad and shocked, another great one gone at 51.
    I’m so happy I got to see him play live several times including an Organ Summit with Jimmy Smith at Bimbo’s in SF.
    Jaw dropping talent, will be missed. Condolences to his family and many fans!

  • Bob Taylor says:

    Calling Joey D. a trumpeter is like calling The Beatles a barbershop quartet. I’m shocked.

  • Petee says:

    R.I.P.My Good Brother

  • Regi Oliver says:

    He was one of the Greatest Greats of the Greats!!! RIP

  • Andrew says:

    Amazing jazz musician..love him playing a B3, made it look so easy. Taken from us at far too young an age.

  • CarlD says:

    I would have hoped the headline would have been changed by now out of respect to the passing of this great man. In any event, I’d like to share this link to a nice obit of the sort he is deserving. It has lots of plaudits and anecdotes from the jazz community that treasured him: