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Bob Belden—Musician, Producer, Arranger, Writer, Historian—Dies at 58

Heart attack claims multi-faceted jazzman

Bob Belden
Bob Belden and Wallace Roney, Detroit Jazz Festival 2014
Producer/musician/arranger Bob Belden, Jazz Connect Conference, NYC Jan. 2015

Bob Belden, a multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, bandleader, label executive, historian and writer, died May 20 in New York City after suffering a massive heart attack in his Upper West Side apartment. Belden was removed from life support after being non-responsive for more than 24 hours. He was 58.

A true jack-of-all-trades in the jazz world, Belden recorded as a leader and in various band and sideman situations, playing soprano saxophone and other instruments and composing; produced recordings by other artists; conducted, orchestrated and wrote arrangements (for McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson and others); created and coordinated multi-artist theme albums including Indian and Latin music tributes to Miles Davis as well as tributes to Prince, the Beatles and Sting; compiled historical releases and box sets (on Miles and others) for major record labels; wrote liner notes and articles for jazz publications; and served as an A&R executive for Blue Note Records.

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