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MAXJAZZ Label Owner Rich McDonnell Dies at 68

St. Louis label has released more than 75 albums

Richard McDonnell
Mulgrew Miller, Richard McDonnell and Russell Malone

Richard “Rich” McDonnell, founder and owner of the MAXJAZZ record label, died Feb. 8 in St. Louis, Mo. He had suffered a stroke Friday while watching a concert at St. Louis’ Jazz at the Bistro featuring Houston Person and the Bill Charlap Trio. McDonnell was hospitalized but passed away the next day. He was 68.

“Richard was a friend to every person he met, and will be remembered for his love and warm spirit, genuine interest in others, his beaming smile, and larger-than-life presence,” said his son Clayton, in an emailed statement. “He enjoyed a 30-year career with A.G. Edwards, and for the last 15 years, lived his true passion, as founder of the MAXJAZZ record label. To his core, Richard was a lover and champion of jazz and its artists.”

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