Friday, August 22, 2014
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RIP, Jimmy Amadie, Philadelphia jazz pianist and educator

Philly jazz great dies at age 76.

RIP, Jimmy Amadie, Philadelphia jazz pianist and educator

Jazz pianist Jimmy Amadie in his Bala Cynwyd home. (Ed Hille / Staff Photographer)
Jazz pianist Jimmy Amadie in his Bala Cynwyd home. (Ed Hille / Staff Photographer) Ed Hille / Staff Photographer

Jimmy Amadie, the Philadelphia jazz pianist and teacher who battled through severe tendinitis to return to the stage after a 44 year absence in 2011, died on Tuesday.

There will be a full obit for Amadie, who grew up in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia and lived in Bala Cynwyd, in Saturday's Inquirer. Today, guitarist Pat Martino reacted to Amadie's death by saying "Philadelphia has been the home base for some extremely significant jazz artists....Not only has Jimmy Amadie been a significant addition to jazz history, but even more so he mastered being a very special person, and we'll miss him deeply!"

Guitarist Kurt Rosewinkel, who studied with Amadie, said: "My greatest teacher Jimmy Amadie was a true inspiration both musically and spiritually. i had one year of piano lessons with him when I was 17 and he gave me my foundation of harmonic understanding of jazz on the piano....What he probably taught me most is the value and meaning of blessing others with solid instruction and to inspire them to transcend their own limits. I will always have Jimmy in my heart and I wish him a blessed journey onward from this plane."

In 2011, I interviewed Amadie before he made his return to performing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. That story is here. Below is a video Ed Hille shot of Amadie talking and playing Jimmy Van Heusen's "Here's That Rainy Day" at his home in Bala Cynwyd.

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Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
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