TSU Loses Jazz Great with Passing of Joe Sample



    Joe Sample picture

    Texas Southern alumnus and jazz great Joe Sample died Friday, September 12 in Houston. He was 75.

    Sample was a native Houstonian who started playing the piano very early in life. He attended Texas Southern where he studied music performance, and eventually formed The Jazz Crusaders with his old friends saxophonist Wilton Felder, drummer Stix Hooper, trombonist Wayne Henderson, and several other musicians.

    Known as the "fathers of jazz-funk-fusion," the group produced more than 40 albums, 19 of which appeared on the Billboard top 200. Samples’ unique

    compositions and style allowed him work with recording artists like Marvin Gaye, Anita Baker, Joni Mitchell and many others. He spent more than 50 years as a jazz pianist, keyboardist and composer, and was one of the most influential pianists of a generation.

    In 2010, Sample received an Hononary Doctorate of Letters from Texas Southern and he taught the TSU Jazz Orchestra Project masters course in 2012

    Sample is survived by his wife Yolanda and his son Nicklas.

    A public viewing for Sample will be Friday, September 19, from 6:00pm -9:00pm at Our Mother of Mercy Church, 4000 Sumpter Street, Houston, Texas 77020.