Jazz musician and composer Joseph Jarman has died. The New York chapter of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) has confirmed the news on their website, stating that the avant-garde luminary passed away yesterday, January 9. He was 81 years old.
Jarman began playing music as a high schooler in Chicago, learning to play drums under Walter Dyett (whose program taught Nat King Cole, Bo Diddley, and many others). During his stint in the army, he took up saxophone and clarinet, joining Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band in the years following his discharge from the armed services. One of the first members of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Jarman was also an early member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, a group with whom he’d continue to play until his 1993 retirement.
A student of Buddhism, Joseph Jarman founded the Jikishinkan Aikido Dojo in Brooklyn in 1985. In the 1990s, Jarman largely retired from music to focus on his passion for Buddhism, though he would return to performing and composing by the end of the decade.[embedded content]