Tags: marcus belgrave | dies | jazz | musician | detroit

Marcus Belgrave, Leader of Detroit's Jazz Movement, Dies at 78

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 01:19 PM

Jazz musician Marcus Belgrave died in his sleep Monday at the age of 78 due to heart failure at a care and rehabilitation facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Belgrave was a famous trumpeter and leader of Detroit’s jazz movement.

He fought heart and pulmonary issues for years, causing him to be in and out of the hospital since April 19, the Detroit Free Press reported. Despite using oxygen 24 hours a day, he continued to play.

Showing signs of improvement, his wife said they were preparing for his return to the stage at the July Concert of Colors on Saturday.

“He played his horn, some music from the Ray Charles book that we were planning to use,” Joan Belgrave told the Detroit Metro Times. “He was playing his intro to ‘You Don’t Know Me’ and having some trouble with it. I told him that was okay because he had a long time to practice.”

Belgrave’s last public performance was April 17 in Durham, North Carolina.

For the past 45 years, Belgrave has mentored young musicians, passing on his love for jazz.

“He became a mentor to entire generations of musicians, and a lot of us would not have found the music without him,” bassist Rodney Whitaker told the Free Press. “He brought us together. I have not met one musician from the last 50 years in Detroit that Marcus has not had some sort of impact on.”

Belgrave was born in 1936 in Chester, Pennsylvania, and started learning the trumpet at the age of 12.

He moved to Detroit in 1963 and later taught jazz at the Metropolitan Arts Complex where his legacy originates in his students, according to the Times.

“Actually, I feel famous, because I've been able to survive playing music in Detroit,” Belgrave told the Free Press in 2012. “Major musicians would say, 'What is Marcus doing in Detroit?' But I had to find a place where I belonged, and where I could have an impact. Being around all of this young talent gave me a sense of community and a purpose.”

He is survived by his wife and four children.

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Jazz musician Marcus Belgrave died in his sleep Monday at the age of 78 due to heart failure at a care and rehabilitation facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
marcus belgrave, dies, jazz, musician, detroit
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2015-19-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 01:19 PM
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