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Albert Murray, Critic and Author, Dies at 97

Championed blues and jazz as integral to American identity

Albert Murray, a prolific and influential author, essayist and critic who advocated tirelessly for jazz and blues, died in his sleep in New York City Aug. 18. He was 97.

In addition to his writings, Murray, along with Wynton Marsalis and Stanley Crouch, is credited with conceiving the institution that would ultimately become Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis, in a statement released via JALC, said, “Albert Murray [was] one of America’s great cultural thinkers and one of our original champions. Albert’s conceptions are the intellectual foundation of our institution. He spoke eloquently on the significance of American vernacular to the fine art of jazz. Deeply philosophical about jazz’s rightful place in the pantheon of Western arts, Albert was an engaged listener to jazz of all styles, and had a profound belief in the transformative power of the music … ”

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