Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Pianist John Osnes, 55, Killed During Traffic Incident

Jazz pianist John Osnes, 55, who died Nov. 23 in Los Angeles, was a victim of road rage, according to news reports from that city. Osnes was crossing the street at the intersection of Selma Avenue and Schrader Boulevard when a rented SUV driven by Swedish hip-hop artist David Jassy, 34, moved into the crosswalk. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Osnes hit the front of the vehicle with his hands, at which time Jassy exited the vehicle and began punching Osnes and kicking him in the head. Jassy then allegedly returned to the SUV and ran Osnes over.

According to Osnes’ Web site, the pianist specialized in the standards of the Great American Songbook and performed in his early days at New York’s Sign of the Dove, as well as the Omni Berkshire Place Hotel, Ada Maison de L’Inde Restaurant, Joanna’s, and the St. Regis Hotel. He also performed at private events for such guests as Al Gore, Neil Simon, Rupert Murdoch, Kitty Carlisle Hart and Jeff Greenfield, among many others.

Originally Published