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Clare Fischer

Douglas Clare Fischer was an American keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. After graduating from Michigan State University (from whom, five decades later, he would receive an honorary doctorate), he became the pianist and arranger for the vocal group The Hi-Lo’s in the late 1950s. Fischer went on to work with Donald Byrd and Dizzy Gillespie, and became known for his Latin and bossa nova recordings in the 1960s. He composed the salsa standard, “Morning”, and the jazz standard, “Pensativa”. Fischer was nominated for eleven Grammy Awards during his lifetime, winning for his landmark album, Clare Fischer & Salsa Picante Present “2 + 2” (1981), the first of Fischer’s records to incorporate the vocal ensemble writing developed during his Hi-Lo’s days into his already sizable Latin jazz discography; it was also the first recorded installment in Fischer’s three-decade-long collaboration with his son Brent). Dr. FIscher was also a posthumous Grammy winner for ¡Ritmo! (2012).

Beginning in the early 1970s, Fischer embarked on a parallel career (and by far his most profitable one), eventually becoming a much sought after arranger, providing orchestral ‘sweeteners’ for pop and R&B artists such as Rufus (with Chaka Kahn), Prince (a regular client from 1985 on, and by far Fischer’s most frequent employer in this vein), Robert Palmer, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and many others.

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