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Jazz legend Chico Hamilton dead at 92

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Nov 26, 2013 | 2:37pm EST

Influential jazz drummer and composer Chico Hamilton has died, aged 92. The musician, who counted Charles Mingus and Dexter Gordon as high school classmates, performed with Duke Ellington and Count Basie before launching his own band in the mid-1950s. He died in New York on Monday (25Nov13). A note on his Facebook.com page reads: "We're saddened by his passing but are grateful and blessed for the grand musical legacy he left with us." Hamilton also performed with jazz greats Lester Young and Lionel Hamilton and singers Lena Horne, Nat 'King' Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Billie Holiday. He enjoyed a brief film career as well and appeared alongside Fred Astaire in the 1941 film You'll Never Get Rich. The drummer released over 60 albums and was one of the co-founders of the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Program in New York City. Hamilton never stopped playing jazz and released three albums in 2011, according to Billboard.com. A final album with his Euphoria ensemble will be released in 2014.

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