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Drummer Steve Bagby Dies at 66

University of Miami drum-set instructor Stephen Bagby died from cancer on June 27 at a Fort Lauderdale hospice. The 66-year-old had served on the faculty at UM for 30 years and performed and recorded with such jazz greats as Stan Getz, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Stitt and Chet Baker. Bagby also once performed with saxophonist John Coltrane in Chicago, sitting in for the regular drummer Elvin Jones.

Bagby was born in St. Louis and grew up in the Chicago suburbs, then toured extensively with the Red Rodney-Ira Sullivan Quintet before moving to Miami in the 1960s. He played numerous regular gigs in southern Florida, including those at two now-defunct venues, Bubba’s in Fort Lauderdale and the Rancher Motel Lounge in Miami. Bagby frequently played with Sullivan, whom he knew from his teenage years back in Chicago.

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