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Muhal Richard Abrams Dies at 87

Hugely influential pianist-composer co-founded the AACM

Muhal Richard Abrams, Manzoni Theater, Milan, Italy, January 2016. (Photo: Sánta István Csaba)

Muhal Richard Abrams, the hugely influential and strikingly versatile pianist, composer, educator and NEA Jazz Master who co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and served as its first president, died on Sunday, Oct. 29, at his home in New York City. His death was confirmed by his wife, Peggy Abrams, and daughter, Richarda Abrams. He was 87.

The cause of death is not yet known. “It was very sudden—it just happened,” Richarda said today. “He was here and then he wasn’t.”

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