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Jazz Pianist Dave McKenna Dies At 78

October 20th, 2008 2:25pm EDT favorite Add to My News
Dave McKennaAmerican jazz pianist Dave McKenna has died of lung cancer. He was 78. McKenna passed away on Saturday in State College, Pennsylvania.

The jazz great launched to stardom as a piano player for the big bands of famed saxophonist Charlie Ventura and jazz clarinetist Woody Herman until 1954.

Recording his first solo album in 1955, McKenna also became well-known for his collaborations with jazz greats Bobby Hackett, Bob Wilber and saxophonist Stan Getz.

He became more focused on his solo career in the 1960s and 70s, recording first as a bandleader and accompanist and later as an soloist.

His unique melodic style, called the "three-handed swing", helped distinguish the star from his contemporaries - noted on albums including My Friend the Piano and Left Handed Complement.

McKenna is survived by his wife, Frances, his sons Stephen and Douglas, and a granddaughter.

(This news article provided by World Entertainment News Network)


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