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Stanley Clarke Remembers George Duke

1.12.46 – 8.5.13

George Duke
George Duke at Freihofer Jazz Festival at Saratoga Springs (photo: Ben Johnson)

I loved George Duke as a brother. I had the highest respect for him as a man and a musician and feel forever fortunate to have had him as a friend for more than 40 years. He was brilliant and epitomized a great combination of science and soul. His accomplishments are astounding. I cherish my memories of George and I’m grateful he played such a large part in my life and career.

George and I first met in Finland in 1971, at the hotel we were staying at for the Pori Jazz festival. We walked out of our rooms at the same time. It was obvious we both were aware of each other, but we’d never met. George was wearing a big dashiki-Afrocentric before its time. We both had huge Afros, and I mean enormous. George introduced himself, and with our massive Afros we had to negotiate the narrow European hotel hallway.

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Originally Published