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Jodie Christian, Chicago Pianist, Dies at 80

AACM co-founder was always in demand in his hometown

Jodie Christian, the Chicago-based pianist who was a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), died of natural causes in that city on Feb. 13. He was 80.

Born in Chicago Feb. 2, 1932, Christian started in music as a singer and street dancer. He attended the Chicago School of Music as a teenager but later stated that most of his musical education came from singing in choirs. He took up piano while at high school, and by 1948, at age 16, he was already playing professionally. Christian performed regularly with saxophonist Ron Hall, then honed his craft as a member of the U.S. Air Force Band in the early 1950s. He made his first recordings in 1958.

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